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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe


Vol 47 Issue 4

26th May to 1st June 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS w w w . d u b a i h o lida y s .c o

First woman of coloured background ever to marry into the British Royal family, delivered the most ethnically-diverse Royal wedding Britain ever witnessed.

Small charities honoured for making big difference

Winners of the 2018 Asian Voice Charity Awards with CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice

Full story see page 16-17

From Russia With Love Modi in Sochi

Rupanjana Dutta Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding symbolises a country that is far from depressing or isolated and grey. In fact it stands for everything that is equal, diverse and multicultural, a fine balance between traditional and modern. With extraordinary global reaction towards acceptance of a divorced and mixed-race woman by the Royal family, the world has been enthralled by the possibilities and significance of this marriage. On the day of the wedding, the powerful sermon by the very energetic African American Bishop Michael Curry against the grandeur and historical background of the St George's Chapel, Continued on page 14

Full Report on page-26

Kumaraswamy to take oath as Karnataka Chief Minister Full Report on page-26


Asian Voice | 26th May 2018





Keith Vaz, MP

Ms Qi Yu Qi is a Certified Public Accountant and has significant business experience as a Founding Partner of one of China’s top fifteen audit and accounting firms that employed more than 750 staff in 17 offices across China. Qi left Beijing and subsequently worked in Hong Kong and led Mainland and International Affairs for the Hong Kong CPA institute, before moving to the UK in 2006 where she worked for many years at a top 20 UK Accountancy Firm in Corporate Finance. In 2011, Qi joined Kalahari Minerals Ltd and Extract Resources Ltd as the CEO and a Board Member, immediately following the acquisition of these companies by her employer CGN, the largest nuclear power company in China. These companies own one of the largest uranium mines in the world located in Namibia they acquired for more than $4.5 billion. At the same time, she joined the board of North River Resources Plc as a non-Executive Director, as her company had a substantial interest in this mining exploration company. With CGN’s plans to expand its presence in the UK, Qi was appointed as the Chief Representative of CGN in the UK in 2014. In September 2016, after protracted negotiations with the British Government and the French energy giant EDF, CGN entered into a Joint Venture agreement with EDF to build nuclear power plants on three sites in the UK, including the well-known Hinkley Point C. Qi was then appointed as the CFO to General Nuclear International Ltd, a CGN’s company that controls the Chinese side of the Joint Venture projects. She was at the same time appointed as a Board Member and CFO to numerous related companies and businesses. Qi is married and has a daughter aged six. Her greatest hobby is country walks. 1.    Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Where I feel at home most is London, as my own family, my husband and daughter are here. If pressed, even though I love London, I would say Shenzhen is my home in China, because I lived there and worked there

and achieved the most in my life there.

40 was my greatest source of pride.

2. What are your p r o u d e s t achievements? I never thought that I could have a baby because I worked too hard, gave myself too much pressure! So having my daughter at the age of

3. What inspires you? Everyday challenges. I feel I must face them and resolve them to contribute to life. I think we all know that life is tough so meeting the challenges needs one to be pretty robust.

4. What has been biggest obstacle in your career? I never felt that I had any obstacles, only challenges. 5. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? At the start of my career, my firm’s Senior Partner, but since I came to England, my husband.  They are both great professionals. I have learnt a great deal from them, but I am my own person. It’s good to listen, that is how we learn. 6.  What is the best aspect about your current role? The great challenge of it, but enjoying the success of dealing with it. 7. And the worst? Again the great challenge of it, but sometimes struggling to find solutions. On the other hand, it is something new to face and makes me run. The two questions 6 and 7 always go together like Yin and Yang.

Golden Jubilee of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square The India League and Indian High Commission in UK organised the 50th anniversary of the Gandhi statue in Tavistock Square on Thursday 17 May 2018. Attended by the Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Minister of Coordination A S Rajan, Virendra Sharma MP, India League Chairman CB Patel attended the anniversary to pay homage and offer flowers to Gandhiji's statue. The India League were very instrumental in introducing Gandhi's statue to Tavistock Square in London. The statue was sculpted by Fredda Brilliant, and was Sumantrai Desai, Jitu Patel, CB Patel, Virendra Sharma MP, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, AS Rajan, P G Patel and Bhanubhai Pandya erected by the Mahatma anniversary celebrate. When I see people stand(2nd Gandhi Memorial ing here it makes my proud that peoOctober) and Committee, with the support ple are still holding on to traditions. Gandhi's Martyr Day and guidance of the India “You have to understand the tim(30 January). League. The Father of the ing of this statue. Only 21 years after CB Patel spoke Nation's statue was unveiled independence, this is the British govabout the history of on 17th May 1968 by the ernment that actually allowed a statthis statue. He said, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon ue of the person who brought down “I was here during Harold Wilson MP. The first the inauguration. the British Raj. The liberal values High Commissioner of indeToday's event is a that the British government had that pendent India, V.K. Krishna token of our respect time, need also to continue now...” Menon, was also at the but there will be a Virendra Sharma MP said, unveiling of Mahatma bigger event at UCL “Bapuji's message to the rest of the Gandhi's statue in on 2 October.” world, message of equality and prosBloomsbury. The High Ambassador perity which he preached as a vision Commissioner of India to the Geetika Sulekh with Dinesh Patnaik said, and dream and before the Indian UK then was Mr S.S. Dhawan. AS Rajan “Statues are not independence. We living outside The London Borough of about history but it is about present. India also carry that message...” Camden gave a very prime sight in It is a message of what we had and Geetika Sulekh, a mum and a Central London for Gandhi's statue, what we need to celebrate. Putting melodious singer, was present at the which to this day is very well mainup statues actually gets the next gensquare to sing few of Gandhji's tained by India House. The staff at favourite Bhajans and songs, and eration to understand what hapthe High Commission of India UK, also to pay homage to India's 'Father pened in the past...Statues tell us clean and maintain the statue at of the nation.' about ourselves. What do we want to Tavistock Square on Gandhi's birth

8. What are your long term goals? I want to gain enough experiences to write books in my later life, like my mother in law who started writing books at age of 80, then kept writing until the age of 94, and published 7 books. With age comes wisdom. 9.  If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Bring back family values to the society, like taking

care of our elderly parents, rather than putting them in care homes and also, I think that young people should marry first before having children. 10. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Margaret Thatcher, to chat with her about her experiences of how she achieved so much in a man’s world. 

Remembering Manchester Arena attack one year on

An emotional memorial service that marked the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack was held on Tuesday 22 May 2018. Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when a bomb was detonated at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

Prince William and Prime Minister Theresa May joined families of victims at the Manchester Cathedral service. The Dean of Manchester said it was for "those whose lives were lost and those whose lives have been changed forever", the BBC reported.

Appointment of Officers on the Executive Board of SPMS UK The Sardar Patel Memorial Society UK has appointed new officers at the Executive Committee Board meeting on 19th May 2018. SPMS UK will be led by CB Patel (Chairman) and supported by Dr Rami Ranger – Vice Chairman, Krishnaben Pujara – General Secretary, Deepak Patel – Treasurer, G P Desai – Joint Treasurer and Kanti Nagda – Hon. Chief Executive. The officers will be supported by the Trustees Mr Jitubhai Patel, Sharad

Parikh & Sumantrai Desai. Pravin G Patel will coordinate the special events of SPMS, whilst Hemesh Patel will develop the website of the society in addition to look into IT needs. SPMS UK will be celebrating Bardoli Day on 12th June and would like to extend invitation to all readers to participate. For further information please contact Krishna Pujara on 07931 708028 or email: AsianVoiceNews



India, Nepal press reset button

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return visit to Kathmandu, following Nepalese Prime Minister Sharma Oili’s first port of call on returning to power was New Delhi. Mr Oili Sharma, previously a critic of Indian policy towards Nepal made this a gesture of reconciliation, a determination to put behind past misunderstandings and resentments and make a new beginning in relations between two neignbours joined at the hip by shared history, culture, faith, ethnicity and kindred tongues. There has long been (and is) a robust Nepali presence in India, with Nepali listed in the Indian Constitution as one of the country’s 18 official languages. Since the abolition of the monarchy a decade or so ago, various Communist factions in Nepal have gained political ascendancy, but have recently come together to form a united Communist Party designed for purpose to transform the deeply entrenched feudal past into a vibrant present of modern infrastructure, jobs, wealth generation, educational opportunities and much else. Mr Modi hit upon an appropriate metaphor likening India to a Sherpa guide taking Nepal to summit of Mount Everest. However, it is India’s responsibility to translate words into deeds. India power projects in the country must be complete within promised time-bound schedules and of costs; and other schemes for Nepal’s socio-economic development must surely follow suit. Road links with Nepal must be extended, including the proposed electrified railway from Rexaul in India to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. This could be a gamechanger in ties. Supplementing these linkages would be the development of inland waterways. Add to this a

pipeline from India bringing petroleum products to Nepal for its transport and energy needs. It is for India to push long dormant schemes in multiple sectors forward as part of regional integration. India’s neighbours rightly complain of its bureaucratic sloth, the dithering and delays in implementing projects. Indians on a similar wave-length frequently do the same. Prime Minister Sharma Oili, for his part, has assured India that Nepal would not allow its territory to be used as a transit route by hostile anti-Indian elements, that his government took Indian interests to heart. Jihadis from Pakistan and other criminal gangs have used Nepal as a base of operations in India. Nepal is the best guardian of its sovereignty, like India’s other neighbours, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Self-defeating paranoia about Chinese influence in these parts is an exercise in futility and should be jettisoned. The idea that a Communist regime in Nepal would subordinate its national interest to a professedly Communist China is yesterday’s hang up. Communist Vietnam went to war with Communist China in February 1979, did it not? They are now at loggerheads in the South China Sea. Freedom from fear has not lost value. Brotherly love between comrades has for long been a fiction, just as it is, and has been, between the US and many liberal democracies; India must outgrow the rancid phobias seeded past deficits. The time to bury the dead is now. Nepal and India must walk the talk to a more rewarding future – a future that works to the benefit of both parties and their future generations.

India’s strides in poverty reduction

India’s once endemic poverty has shown significant decline, largely on the back of the country’s southern states, but also on the improved performances elsewhere, notably in Maharashtra, Goa, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, and Sikkim states. Between 2005-16, poverty levels fell from 55per cent to 21 per cent, improving multidimensional poverty (MDP) – an international measure of extreme poverty based on the three critical categories of health, education and living standards. Thus India’s previous 54th ranking among Third World countries has dropped to 26 th. While that national average of poverty stands at 21 per cent, in the five southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the average poverty level is down to 9 per cent under MDP measurements. A paper to be published shortly by

Professor S.P.Singh and research scholar Akarsh Arora of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, and by Zakaria Siddiqui, an Australia-based development scientist and others have concluded from data extracted from the National Family Health Survey-4 2015-16. Bihar, with a 43 per cent povery level, is India’s poorest state by far, Jharkhand, 36 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 31 per cent, Rajasthan 31 per cent and Odisha 29 per cent have rates above the national average. In contrast, Kerala is down to 1 per cent, Tamil Nadu to 6 per cent, Karnataka 11 per cent , Telangana 14 per cent and Andhra Pradesh 13 per cent, all significantly below the national average. Gujarat with 16 per cent, West Bengal with 17 per cent have been positioned below the 21 per cent national average. The trend is set to continue with increasing momentum.

India’s rising food processing sector has the potential to become a major transformative force in the country’s development, bridging the rural-urban divide, stimulating agricultural growth, raising living standards across the country. The food processing sector represents the focal point where agriculture and industry conjoin in a seminal advance, with each playing an existential role in India’s modernization. It would be appropriate at this stage to lay out a series of basic facts. India is one of the world’s foremost producers of food products. It has the world’s second largest population after China. India has around the world’s fifth-largest irrigated land, and, equally, swathes of arable land that is highest in the region and beyond.. With science and technology inputs the country’s Green Revolution made India a major producer of wheat and rice, an entitlement to landmark food security, and the banishment of spectral famine and crippling grain shortages, forcing the government to look abroad for succor. India is now the world’s largest producer of milk, which has led to an explosion of dairy products, a whole range of which are exported. Pulses, bananas, guavas and mangoes, apples and oranges are produced in abundance, enough to meet domestic demand and leaving sufficient surpluses for exports. It is scarcely surprising, therefore, that much food that goes to waste is increasingly preserved through refrigeration, another example of industry sustain agriculture. The complementary step is food processing which caters to a growing market driven by rising incomes and living standards. The food processing sector promises thus to be the next big thing in taking in Indian development and

making it global player in the field. For this to happen the sector requires substantial investments, domestic and foreign, if it is to reach its full potential. Indeed private sector investment is already on the rise. There are immense opportunities in contract farming, sourcing of raw material and developing agricultural linkages. Many foreign companies already have a presence in the contract farming segment. With such expansion proceeding apace, experts predict that the market for plant and machinery in the food processing sector is set to grow in value to $51.41 billion by 2025.High growth in the food segments within the ambit of the Food and Beverages industry is increasingly noticeable in breakfast cereals, savoury snacks, seasonings, dressings and pet food. Apart from the growing population and their increasing purchasing power arising from disposable earnings, smaller family units, rapid urbanization, expanding retail trade, emergent in digitization, and the growing presence of global players enthused by growth drivers, of which he huge Indian population is a telling example. The retail sector is expected to multiply threefold by 2020, which increases the ongoing traction. Swelling consumption in the food and beverage sector is estimated to earn around $1.142 trillion by 2025. With government recognition the food processing sector’s potential in its manufacturing policy, special funds have been set up for its promotion. A final point: the sector is vitally important for job creation. Each of the factors outlined above are integral to the vast cycle of development, has the power to transform the face of India beyond recognition for the betterment of its peoples. The long and hard journey may be nearing its goal. An unfolding future like no other is before us.

Food processing a likely game-changer

Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship - Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Alpesh Patel

How Do You Marry Royalty with your Race?

There were no politicians at the Royal Wedding, but it was most definitely political. I am a believer. I am one of those who is optimistic. This marriage will help race relations. That visual of the a black person marrying into the country’s first family will in subtle small ways make some people angry, as it did with the girlfriend of the former UKIP leader, but that is good. They are angry because they are losers in their hatred and belief in blood purity. A bunch of people woke up the day after the wedding wondering ‘how can I marry Royalty?’ The day after her wedding, the Duchess of Sussex followed tradition and left her wedding bouquet at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey where the inscription reads "Beneath this stone rests the body Of a British warrior Unknown by name or rank... Man can give life itself For God For King and country For loved ones home and empire For the sacred cause of justice and The freedom of the world They buried him among the kings because he Had done good toward God and toward His house." The preacher at the wedding quoted Martin Luther King. King famously said I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. Well Prince Harry, who once at a party in the same Castle at which he got married wore a Nazi uniform, proved the Prince carries on King’s dream. The point is, we do not need to marry Royalty to make our lives extraordinary. We can be Royalty in how we behave. It is not about the ego but of service. Meghan had worked in soup kitchens and UN programmes without the lights and theatre long before she danced down the aisle. For the rest of us, it is a belief not that we could all be royalty, but that with hard work an honest heart from your personal to your professional life, you can achieve. And yes, luck is 99% in all things. But my god your fate and destiny must be strong, some Indian priest must have told her years ago reading her palm or horoscope, that she has the power to bend to her will the Prince of Wales to walk her down the aisle. At a time of the Windrush embarrassment, no not embarrassment, shocking disgusting vicious racist nature of it all, this was the opposite. When we remember President Obama and compare him to Trump – for most this is also about race not just in the UK, but the world. Or take Mo Farrah winning Gold or the other Mohamed playing for Liverpool. Of course Indian parents will continue warning their children not to marry Blacks or Muslims – go on admit it – you’re one of the them aren’t you? Whites and Christians at a push, but Blacks and Muslims or same sex? You ready? No thought not. Editor: CB Patel

Asian Voice is published by

ASIAN BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LTD Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: Website:© Asian Business Publications


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Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


Going global with the ABA Sir Vince Cable MP was the guest speaker at this year’s Asian Business Association (ABA) dinner, rebranded as the LCCI’s annual global dinner to reflect the increasing importance of longer-distance foreign markets for UK trade. The former business secretary spoke to an audience of over 400 people at the Savoy Hotel of how he first witnessed the Asian business community driving economic growth when he was treasury finance officer for the Kenyan government in Nairobi in the 1960s. When conditions in

example, some of the big Indian companies and now the contribution from the Asian diaspora to Britain’s economy is enormous. This black-tie dinner had a special focus on celebrating London as a global city; whilst looking at the challenges and opportunities we now face. Our

Immediate Past Chairman of ABA, Vijay Goel, with some Committee Members and Harshad Kothari, Asian Voice

tant to recognise the huge contribution Asian businesses make to London’s economy. This premier gathering brought together a range of industries, Asian and non-Asian businesses. Last year's top table included; London's Deputy Mayor for Business, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, CoChairman of the Hinduja Group, Baroness Verma and Rushanara Ali MP.

and people want to live. The MP for Twickenham was introduced by ABA chairman Tony Matharu, managing director of Grange Hotels, who described the role of the association and its reputation as the ‘voice of the London Asian business community’. It also, within the London Chamber, facilitates cross border trade and invest-

Hardeep Singh Kohli, Award winning Broadcaster, Comedian, Writer and Chef, Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Tony Matharu, Managing Director of Grange Hotels & Chairman of the ABA

ment with areas where the Asian community has historic links. The dinner also featured a comic turn from Hardeep Singh Kohli, described as a broadcaster, comedian, chef and child of a corner shop

owner. The ABA Global Dinner was sponsored by Heathrow and Lloyds Bank. Supporting sponsors were The Currency Account and Smart Deskers. The charity partner was Livability.

Some of the guests attending the dinner

East Africa changed and Asians were made less welcome “Africa’s loss was Britain’s gain” as many made their way to the UK. The dismantlement of exchange controls in 1979 encouraged more investment in the UK from, for

capital is a transport hub to Europe and the world, 80% of our business is International. London is populous and diverse with nearly a third of the city's population from black, Asian or other minority ethnic groups. It is impor-

The former chief economist for Shell, now leader of the Liberal Democrat party, shared his concern that nothing was more damaging to Britain than the perception that it was being hostile to the outside. It was essential, he said, that the UK re-established its reputation as a place where business wants to invest and people want to invest,

photo credit: Dan Corbett, Ramshackle


Guests enthralled by Sir Vince Cable’s speech

Raishma hosts TiE women as Better awareness about stroke among Asian and Black women than men she puts the finishing touches to a Royal gown As Raishma finished last minute alterations on a dress due for the Royal Wedding, TiE Women Members gathered in her shop for an evening of shopping, make overs, canapés and chilled Rose. The event which was to showcase female entrepreneurs, hinged around four women doing great things in their fields. Raishma, the couture designer hosted with 20% off her beautiful hand beaded lines. Wine was provided by Mirabeau, founded by Jeany Cronk. Jeany took her family to the Provance with the dream of owning her own winery, her wines now regularly win awards. Colourful canapes got guests talking, plant based and beautiful they came courtesy of Spring Green, a botanical superfood delivery service. Spring Green deliver planned meals to your door which are all totally sugar, wheat and dairy free. Menus are cre-

Raishma, Nina Amin and other attendees

ated by Bonnie Stowell who trained with Michelin-starred chef Matt Tomkinson. Finally, guests were treated to smokey eyes and bouncy curls from Roshni who offers a home Glam Squad service for anyone looking to get party ready at home or in the office. Fully immersed in the Royal Wedding speculation Raishma was keeping the dresses destination

tight to her chest. Now the event has passed we can reveal that it was custom made for one of Harry and Meghan’s closest friends, Cassie Lokko (wife of reformed gangster Karl). TiE President Nina Amin, MBE said that she was so proud that TiE women are achieving such success and with the right encouragement and support the sky is the limit for such enterprising women

A recent stroke Act F.A.S.T. campaign survey carried out in February 2018 by Public Health England (PHE) in partnership with Black and Asian media, including Asian Voice, revealed that 72% of women knew the Act F.A.S.T. acronym which is used to help people identify the signs of a stroke compared to 62% of men. Only 86% of men surveyed knew the three most common signs of a stroke compared to 91% of women. Most people (84%) were aware that the faster stroke patients receive medical treatment the greater their chances of a better recovery, but shockingly almost 40% are not aware that getting treatment fast can help avoid long-term disability. Older people aged 55-74 are more likely to have a stroke but were less likely to be aware that getting treatment fast could save a

person’s life. According to a news release on behalf of Public Health England, knowing any single one of the signs of a stroke and calling 999 immediately enhances the chances of a good recovery. Men are at a higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age than women.

F.A.S.T. stands for: Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there? Speech – is their speech slurred? Time – time to call 999 The survey designed specifically for Asian and Black communities to

understand the current levels of knowledge about stroke highlights that some of the key Act F.A.S.T. stroke campaign messages are getting through but there’s still more work to be done. Professor Julia Verne, Public Health England Director said: “ The results show that some of our ACT F.A.S.T. messages are getting through to those most at risk of stroke. However, it’s clear that we need to work harder to increase awareness of all the common signs of stroke and improve understanding that acting fast can save lives and prevent long-term disability.” Actor Bhasker Patel said: “We need to do more to make sure that we continue to spread awareness of all the signs of stroke and encourage everyone to act fast, without delay, when they notice any one of the signs of stroke.”

UK AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

36-year-old man charged with the murder of 34-year-old pharmacist wife Jessica Patel’s body was found at her Victorian semi-detached house in the Avenue in Linthorpe on Monday, the 14th. Patel, 34, was originally from Leeds and had recently moved to L i n t h o r p e , Middlesborough, where she ran the Roman Road Pharmacy with her husband Mitesh, 36. Mitesh Patel, of the Avenue, appeared before Teesside Magistrates' Court earlier charged with murder. The 36-year-old was remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday. The prosecutor,

Rehana Haque, told the court that Patel faced an “allegation of murder”. Handcuffed and flanked by two security officers, one sitting beside and another behind throughout the short hearing, Patel spoke only to confirm his name and address at the preliminary hearing. Forensic experts have been working at the Patel

residenceas well as the Roman Road Pharmacy where the couple worked. A statement by Cleveland Police noted that according to a postmortem examination, Jessica Patel suffered "serious injuries" prior to her death. However, the police are not releasing the cause of the death for 'investigation purposes'. Before the announcement of an arrest, Detective Superintendent Tariq Ali said, “The murder happened in a quiet area of town, where local people have been left shocked by what has happened in

their neighbourhood.” He added, “We know that Jessica was a well-liked and well-respected member of the local community, and that a lot of people knew her from working at the pharmacy.” In a tribute to Jessica, her family said, "We have lost Jessica, a kind-hearted, gentle and selfless person who was loved dearly by her family and friends. She was completely dedicated to all of her family and her loss has brought an unbearable pain”. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, quoting event number 85888.

FT report shades light on dark issues of 'labour exploitation in Britain'

A Financial Times report published on 17th of May, compiled by Sarah O’Connor, titled ‘Dark factories: labour exploitation in Britain’, reveals the unethical issues plaguing Britain's garment manufacturing industry. The report highlights how such factories in Leicesterare littered with issues including poor, below minimum wage, pay to unsafe working environments. The report starts with a simple question, “How is it possible to make cheap clothes in a country where the minimum wage for over-25s is £7.83 an hour?” The report concludes that if retailers were able to truly collaborate with manufacturers, they could create decent jobs for a community that needs them while enjoying the benefits of sourcing close to home. The report analysed several online and highstreet brands selling garments in the country, such as Boohoo and H&M. As O'Connor notes, “Over the five years to 2016-17, HM Revenue & Customs, which has recently had its

overseas to the small but growing factories that exist today, this garment trade can be said to have made a welcome return to the country. However, for it to work ethically and lawfully, factories and government authorities need to work together.

Inside the Basic Premier factory

enforcement budget doubled, has identified about £33m of arrears for almost 232,000 people who have been paid under minimum wage nationwide. Of that total, it found underpayment in just 19 employers in the textile sector, owing £44,371 to 83 workers”. The report quoted Peter McAllister, executive director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, as saying, “We want to see UK manufacturing thrive, but it mustn’t be based on a 19th-century model of exploitation and poor working conditions”. The report questions the probable claim of the enforcement agencies to be unaware. It says, “Representatives from UK Visas and Immigration, the Health & Safety

Source: FT

Executive (HSE) and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority all attended a meeting hosted by Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby last October, where the problems were discussed in detail. But a comb through freedom-ofinformation requests, MPs questions and public records does not reveal a state that has done much to sort this out”. The primary concern that the report raises is this: “Perhaps the strangest thing about this labour exploitation is that it is an open secret. Central government knows; local government knows; retailers know”. Overall, O'Connor notes that from what was once a thriving industry, thwarted by the ‘cheap needle’

Grenfell Inquiry begins with tearful testimonies from victims' families The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is hearing from victims' families this week. The inquiry, which is separate to any police investigation, comes nearly a year after the huge fire engulfed the west London tower block. The start of the public inquiry saw families paying tearful tributes to their loved ones. Among the victims was Mohamed Amied Neda, 57, known to his family and friends as Saber. He and his wife had sought refuge in the UK from Afghanistan in 1999 after they were persecuted by the Taliban owing to his senior role in the army. Neda's brother said, “The way the fire happened, the death, the sudden severity has left me with so many questions and a deep void in my life I've still not

Pakistan, where the ceremony is said to have taken place. In the first successful prosecution of its type, the jurors heard how the girl had cried and pleaded to her mother after signing a marriage certificate. Although forced marriage became an offence in 2014, prosecutions for it are rare. Few years ago, this girl had to undergo an abortion when she was 13, after becoming pregnant by a male relative whom she was forced to enter

into a 'marriage contract' with against her will. Post abortion, the teenager resorted to alcohol and drugs, because when she protested the marriage, the mother assaulted her and threatened to burn her passport. According to the Prosecutors, the defendant "made all the right noises" to suggest her daughter and the man were just "two teenagers who had sneakily had sex" when she was referred to social services.

Mohamed Amied Neda

come to terms with”. Solicitors representing his family read tributes from his brother, son, and wife. Neda said 'goodbye' as he perished at Grenfell. His final phone call was played in court, in which he reportedly told his family, “Goodbye, we are leaving this world now”.

New organic Ghee Easy Ghee Easy, an organic ghee, was recently launched in the UK. According to the manufacturers the product, with a rich and nutty flavour, has a shelf life of two years and is a source of Omega 3 and 6, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K. The product claims to

be lactose free, suitable for those following a paleo diet and sourced from grass-fed cows. Ghee Easy is available from nationwide Sainsbury’s stores and Ocado, the product retails at £6.00 for a 245g jar. It is also available from Planet Organic and Wholefoods.

314 UK properties for sale by auction including (unless previously sold or withdrawn)

VACANT Lot 164:

41 Tamworth Street, Fulham, London, SW6 1LF In the same ownership for 35 years Freehold corner building arranged as LG and GF shop with residential on 1F, 2F and 3F with rear yard and garage. Permission for 4 flats. Site area approx. 0.016 hectares (0.04 acres). EPC refer to website.

Mother found guilty of forcibly making daughter wed older man A jury at Birmingham Crown Court has found a mother guilty of deceiving her daughter to go to Pakistan in order to forcibly get her married to a man 16 years her senior. She was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court. The teenager was duped by her mother into marrying the relative just after her 18th birthday when her mother convinced her she was going on a family holiday to



Thursday 31st May 2018 The Cumberland Hotel, London W1H 7DL

Gabriella Brunton 020 7344 2668 email:

PLEASE NOTE START TIME: 09.30am Bid in person

Bid online

Bid by phone

Bid by proxy

1. Where a guide price (or range of prices) is given, that guide is the minimum price at which, or range of prices within which, the seller might be prepared to sell on the date at which the guide price, or range of prices, is published. 2. The reserve price is the minimum price at which the property can be sold. 3. Both the guide price and the reserve price may be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

26th May 2018

Triumphant Asian women, pride of our Britain Dhiren Katwa This year’s prestigious Asian Women of Achievement (AWA) Media Award has been scooped by Balvinder Sidhu, an investigative journalist and presenter for ITV News Central. Balvinder, who was up against five other journalists, including The Sunday Times’ Royal Correspondent, stood out for judges who were struck by her fearlessness. Trophies were presented, each by a sponsor or VIP, to winners across 10 categories. Guests, resplendent in dazzling outfits, entered the Hilton Park Lane through its swivelling doors and headed up the red-carpeted stairs to the champagne reception, then to The Ballroom where the awards were presented. The ceremony, which included a four-course meal, took place last Wednesday (May 9). The Master of Ceremonies was BBC London News’ Riz Lateef. Simone G Malik, one of the UK’s only female Asian painters, clinched the award for Arts & Culture. The Entrepreneur Award went to Asma Khan, founder of Darjeeling Express, a restaurant in London. Human rights lawyer Yasmin Waljee OBE won the Business Award. She is, said judges, a force for change, doing everything she can to ensure justice is accessible to all.Dr Farah Ahmed who has an international reputation for her achievements in X-ray micro-CT won the Professions Award. The Public Service Award went to Dr Pooja Saini, a powerful ambassador for mental health reform. Multi-talented Dr Ishani Patel, a leading GP in Tower Hamlets and co-founder of technology engagement platform, Lantum, scooped the Science & Technology Award. The recipient of the Social &

Winners of the 2018 Asian Women of Achievement Awards

Humanitarian Award was Kalbir Bains. Kalbir suffers from dyslexia and it’s testament to her commitment, said judges, to empower others. She’s also the author of ‘Not Our Daughter! The True Story of a Daughter-in-law’. Halima Khan beat off stiff competition to win the Sport Award. As founder of Opening Boundaries, Halima is an inspirational role model. Judges praised Halima for using sport to empower women, to influence a change of mindset and to challenge issues of gender-based violence in sport. The joint winners of the Young Achiever Award were Maya Ghazal and Dr Jenny Tran. In 2015, 15year-old Maya arrived in England as a refugee. She could speak no English and was turned away from schools. Maya looked to The Children’s Society for support. Now she helps the charity and others tackle the issues young refugees and migrants face. Dr Tran is a medical doctor and founding Chair of CHASE, a notfor-profit health mentoring programme. The awards, now in their 19th

year, this year raised £10k for Frank Water, a Bristol headquartered charity; that’s £5k through a raffle, match-funded by the Hemraj Goyal Foundation. Frank Water, since its inception in 2005, has provided safe water, sanitation and hygiene training to over 386,000 people in 440 villages across India and Nepal. But there are still, says the charity’s CEO Katie Alcott, 663 million people in the world without access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion without a toilet. The AWA Awards are the brainchild of Pinky Lilani CBE DL, a humble lady. Donning a blue sari on the night, she smiled “shukar”, translating to ‘I’m ever so grateful to God’, adding, “I feel enormously proud to stand with this group of such inspiring women.” She was sat on the top table along with her husband, Baroness Valerie Amos, actress Amrit Maghera, Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in London and Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex. Sir Nicholas Young, former CEO of The British Red Cross, once again chaired the panel of 21 judges, comprising15 women and 6 men.

Mother and son hit by train in Slough was 'unlawful killing': Coroner Reading Coroner’s Court heard an inquest last week into an incident concerning a 10-year-old boy who died after his mum placed him on a railway track on September 23, 2014. Both were killed within seconds at about 9.45 am when they were hit by the 8.41am Bedwyn to London Paddington service, which was travelling at about 99 mph. The boy died in the arms of his mother and was 'unlawfully killed', a coroner has ruled. The court was told that 46-yearold Rubina Khan was seen by train driver David Campbell-Kinder to bend down to talk to her son, who was in his school uniform, before climbing onto the tracks with him and laying down. The boy's backpack full of school books was found by investigators on a bench on the platform. Rubina Khan had been released from a mental health hospital four days before the pair died, the inquest heard. Khan's husband of 22 years, Jahinger Khan, grew concerned about his son and wife when he

had a brief chat. Amaar appeared to be happy and excited and I asked 'what are you lot doing here?'”. He added, “I just said 'okay' and then waved and said our goodbyes and walked off in opposite directions. Looking back now there was nothing during our meeting that gave me concern and it was just a normal Investigation at Slough station in 2014 meeting between friends returned to an empty home on the and family.” day. He had also received a call from Rubina. Zahire said, told him that his son's school that day that Amaar she was going to the dentist with had not shown up for lessons. Amaar that day. This was 30 minutes Jahinger immediately drove to before the pair died on the tracks at his mother-in-law's house where he Slough station in 2014. The court spoke to Zahire, Rubina's brother, also heard last week that the motherwho said that he had seen her and of-three, Khan bought an adult and Amaar that morning. child train ticket to Windsor before In his statement read to the walking to an empty platform where Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford, no trains were due to stop. Zahire said, “I had never seen her in After meeting Jahinger, Zahire town before and it was a school day grew concerned and they drove to and Amaar was with her... but a nice train station that was by then the unexpected surprise. We stopped and centre of a police investigation.


Convictions to be quashed for five jailed for plotting restaurateur's murder The five men who spent seven years in jail for conspiracy to murder are likely to have their convictions quashed this week. After Mohammed Afsar, a restaurateur, was shot and badly injured in a family feud, the men were convicted in 2011 and given sentences of up to 24 years each. They later had their cases referred to appeal judges after the emergence of secret evidence that undermined their convictions. Omran Rashid, Wassab Khan, Abdul Jabbar, Faisal Saraj and Abdul Maroof, all from Birmingham, were jailed and their appeals, two years later, failed. They have spent seven years in jail for plotting murder in what lawyers claim is one of the worst cases of non-disclosed evidence. Acting pro bono for the defendants, Charter Solicitors, a Leeds and Bradford law firm, said, “Police and prosecution failed to comply with the spirit of the disclosure process, whether deliberately

or not. It has been reviewed ten or 12 times over the last seven years — those are the numbers of opportunities missed by the prosecutors and police.” Alistair Webster, QC, said: “In either case, it is hard to think of a more serious perversion of the course of justice than to allow a trial on such a serious charge to take place, and convictions to be obtained, when knowingly holding material which shows that the charge should not have been brought.” The Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates potential miscarriages of justice, was alerted to this case by the Crown Prosecution Service in February. The commission said that the classified evidence that emerged was extremely sensitive and that it could not be released to the men’s solicitors, but that “raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal would quash the conspiracy to murder convictions”.

MP backs local 'health and care heroes' for NHS70 Parliamentary Awards Leicester East MP Keith Vaz has announced the local health and care workers who he has nominated for national awards to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM, was set up to recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS. MPs in England were called on to put forward outstanding nominees who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how local health and care services provide care for patients. As chosen by the MP, Professor Kamlesh Khunti is now the official nominee representing the Leicester East constituency in the national competition for The Healthier Communities Award. Prof Khunti has dedicated his life to medicine and research, publishing nearly 500 research papers. He is now Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester and Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), a national and international centre of excellence in type 2 diabetes. His work has influenced national and international guidelines on the screening and management of people with diabetes and for healthcare professionals, meaning he has potentially helped guide clinicians treat anyone who has the condi-

Kamlesh Khunti

tion. Keith Vaz MP said, "Everyone in Leicester is rightly proud of our local NHS and care services, and I'm delighted to be taking part in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards as a way of thanking and recognising the people who work in or support those services”. He added, “I hope local people will take the opportunity to mark the NHS's 70th birthday in other ways, whether it's by finding out more about its history, sharing their NHS memories and stories, getting involved in local events and tea parties, or being inspired to keep themselves well and use health services wisely”. Nominees put forward by MPs across England will initially be judged by senior local and regional NHS experts to find regional champions in each category. These regional champions will then be judged by a highlevel panel, with the overall winners announced at a special awards ceremony in Parliament on Wednesday 4 July — the day before the NHS's 70th birthday.

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Seema Malhotra MP

Member of Select Committee for Exiting the European Union and former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Widest range of voices across the country continue to be heard Last week the Government suffered its 15th defeat in the House of Lords on the EU Withdrawal Bill. These largely followed two broad themes maintaining the principle of the role of Parliament in holding the Government to account without the extension of Ministerial powers through the back door, and also not reducing or removing employment or environmental regulations without proper scrutiny. We have yet to hear when the EU withdrawal Bill will come back to Parliament. But in the meantime Parliament is leading the way in debating key and critical issues through Select Committees and opposition Day debates. Recently I spoke in the Chamber debate on the Customs Union. I made the argument that both of the proposals from the Government - “customs partnership” and “max fac” are problematic. The customs partnership could undermine U.K. and EU tariff regimes and would leave us needing to track any goods imported where we and the EU had different tariffs. This would be hugely complex and costly over time. Businesses like Boeing who have large distribution centre in my constituency which sends parts and engineers within tight deadlines to fix planes across Europe would be sensitive to any delays at borders. The “max fac” option would inevitably need some infrastructure like cameras and would lead to a hard border in Ireland. And to top it all, neither option would be able to be in place by the end of the transition period - estimates are that a new customs system would take 3-5 years. Our select committee last week also heard from academics and medical scientists about concerns they faced and why we needed to stay in the European Medicines Agency, which announced last year that they are leaving London with the loss of 900 jobs. I asked a question around clinical trials. Those giving evidence laid out the case very clearly the need for stability and harmonisation of regulations, and the impact on cooperation and needing an increased population in which you can do trials 66 million not being enough for the range of demographics you may want to

include in the test. I asked if there was risk that the drugs created and reach of those products could be affected, if we have a different and more diverse population. Every country is different in its demographic make‑up. For ethnic minorities, you may need to have a much wider pool in which you are doing the research to get products that may be more effective - just as you need to reach out more widely for bone marrow transplant matches. I asked if that also a risk. The answer I received was clear - that it “potentially has an impact on which patients are being included in trials, which is a problem for individuals but also potentially for whole populations who are less well represented in mainland Europe.” I also enquired what leaving could mean for people in Britain about access to new treatments. The Health Select Committee has done some work around this, and it would appear that, if you are not in the EU, there could be quite a significant delay, potentially six to 12 months, before you have access to new treatments and medicines. Our witnesses outlined two elements to this. The first is that, if the UK is outside the European Medicines Agency framework for licensing drugs, our size of population is less attractive for big pharma to sell their drugs into. We are not such an attractive market and they are likely to go to the bigger markets of the EU and the US first. We certainly see in countries that are not part of those bigger markets that drugs arrive later. There is also a relationship between where drugs are tested and trialled and where pharma will look to launch. If we are less attractive as a destination for clinical trials and have less leadership in that area, it will partly affect the way that the pharma industry sees us as a market. As we move closer to Brexit Day, the debates become more critical and the consequences of leaving without keeping engaged with the best of what the EU offered our economy, our public services and our prosperity becomes clearer. And as the detail of the Government’s direction becomes clear, it’s vital that the widest range of voices across the country continue to be heard.

Raghuram Rajan refuses to apply for top BoE job A recent report by the Financial Times had listed top probable candidates in the race to replace Mark Carney at Bank of England, which features the name of the Ex-IMF Chief and onetime RBI Chief Raghuram Rajan. Prof Rajan spoke at an event at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in London, addressing this speculation, and said that he already had a 'good job which he enjoyed'. The noted Economist with 'impeccable international economics and central banking experience' along with 'significant achievements at the Reserve Bank of India', has said, “I don’t know why I am linked, but I think the very easy answer is I am extremely happy going

back to academia”. Rajan responded He added, “I am an that he 'had academic, not a already answered central banker”. a similar quesFT has also tion'. Prof Rajan summarised the was born in pros and cons of all Bhopal, central the listed candiIndia. In 2003 he the dates and interest- Raghuram Rajan became International Monetary ingly, the only downside to Fund’s youngest chief Prof Rajan's appointment economist and the first reads: “No indication that non-westerner appointed he would want the job at to the position. the BoE”. However, at the Another person that event he was asked could be a candidate for the whether he would apply for post is chair of Santander the role when it is likely to be advertised in July, and UK and Indian-origin he told the reporters, “I Baroness Shriti Vadera. The think I’ve said all I can say. report noted, “If Hammond I’m not going to apply for a follows his predecessor's job anywhere, absolutely”. instincts and wants a lively The reporters then asked hard-hitter at the BoE, what he would do if he Shriti Vadera, the chair of Santander UK and a former were approached to fill the business minister under role, which which is due to Gordon Brown fits the bill”. come vacant next year, and


Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

Young Sri Lankan national fatally stabbed in South London A young Sri Lankan national, Arunesh Thangarajah, was fatally stabbed between Upper Green East and Montrose Gardens in Mitcham, South London on Sunday, the 20th. Arunesh was found with multiple stab wounds at 03:29 BST and died at the scene. Scotland Yard stated that a murder probe has been launched by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command. The man's next of kin have been informed by the Police and a postmortem examination will be arranged. A 44-year-old man has been arrested on

Arunesh Thangarajah

suspicion of murder and is presently in custody in a south London police station. The Mayor of London said that he was in touch with the Metropolitan Police about the investiga-

tion. He added, "They will do everything they can to bring the perpetrator to justice. Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh offered her condolences to the victim's family and said she would attend the police meeting about the killing. London has seen more than 60 murders within the first six months this year, of which more than half were stabbings. Before Arunesh's murder, last Tuesday, the Met's assistant commissioner had said that there were signs the spike in violence was "stabilising".

Keith Vaz MP: We cannot continue to stand by and watch Yemen burning In an article published recently in Politics Home, Keith Vaz MP writes, “We as Parliamentarians will be judged on what we do with regards to Yemen. Just like Rwanda and Kosovo in the 1990’s this is the seminal humanitarian moment of our time. The "forgotten war" must be forgotten no

longer”. He says that the conflict in Yemen, which has now entered its 4th year, is “ locked in a deadly stalemate leaving death, destruction and devastation in its wake”. He adds, “Yemen is burning”. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project,

between January 2017 and March 2018, over 23,000 combatants and non-combatants have been killed. He urges fellow parliamentarians to come together and do something about what the UN has recognised as ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.’



As I See It

Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

26th May 2018

There is a better way

This phrase is totally borrowed from the front page of The Economist dated 19 May. On 14th May an important day in the history of Israel, a very tragic and painful incident took place at the border of Gaza and Israel. According to Gaza’s health Ministry at least 60 people died and more than 2700 were injured. For what? 40 percent of Gazians are unemployed and their living conditions are hellish. Thousands of misguided Palestinian youth, influenced and encouraged by irresponsible leadership, not only to attack the Israeli security forces as well as civilians, and forcefully crossed the international border to ‘reclaim’ their ancestral lands. For years now the vicious circle is just draining the resources and making the intractable problem between Palestine and Israel more and more complicated. The better way is to pause and look at other options, if any. And in the recent history there are at least 3 major events that given hope and some confidence, where a powerful state machinery can be prevailed or persuaded upon to accept another way to resolve highly charged and intrinsically complex problems. Let me begin with the Bardoli Satyagraha. It was totally peaceful and non violent. It was a serious challenge to the British Raj by withholding revenue payments by poor farmers of what was then Bardoli Taluka of some 60 villages with a population of 80,000. In the last 4 weeks of Asian Voice there were articles by Dr Hari Desai looking back at the problem and eventual resolution (interested readers can refer to older issues of Asian Voice online). Bardoli Satyagraha was the first ever defiance of the colonial power by absolutely relying on civil disobedience which could in a way be termed ‘unacceptable’ to challenge the dictate of the collector of Surat and the governor of Bombay presidency, initially approved by Viceroy in Delhi and the India Office in London. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to India in 1915 after his successful campaign in South Africa where he defined and refined his nonviolent and peaceful resistance against colonial masters. Up and until then in India the only ‘political’ organisation was Indian National Congress established in 1885, relying solely on the pleas and petitions to the Hakem Sahebs, perhaps looking for mercy and fair play. Gandhi’s first campaign was against the mill owners in Ahmedabad who were actually supporting him financially for his first Ashram at Kocharab. The daughter of one of the largest mill owners, Ambalal Sarabhai, took the leadership and for the first time in the Indian capitalist class, their conscience was raised and they accepted demands for better treatments of the mill workers. Champaran Satyagraha of 1918 was the turning point in the Gandhian way of energising his fellow countrymen for equality and justice. Around the same time there were two campaigns called Kheda and Borsad campaign where one barrister Vallabhai Patel proved his organisational ability in mobilising thousands of farmers and other common folks to oppose the British Raj. They suffered untold mis-

CB Patel

eries of beatings, imprisonment , confiscation of properties and other oppressive measures. As one can see from the Bardoli saga, barrister Vallavbhai Patel meticulously prepared the case of oppression of poor farmers and the Collector and Governor were power-drunk to say the least, who completely ignored the pleas for fairness and justice. Gandhiji called this reaction of Hakim of British Raj as 'UnBritish'. For Gandhi 'Unbritish' was the ultimate term to describe the negation of positive aspect of the British character ie rule of law, fair play, equality and justice. The Bardoli campaign was launched on 12 February 1928 after thorough preparation that total peace and non violence would prevail in Bardoli taluka, inspite of several provocations by authorities- their oppressive measures of confiscation of lands and cattles and auctioning them off at ridiculous prices, the campaign remained totally peaceful and non violent.

Visit us at Anand Mela 2018

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar's annual Anand Mela will be held on 9 and 10 June this year. One of UK's most thriving culture festival for charity returns, the 8th edition of the grand two-day event will take place at the Harrow Leisure Centre. Anand Mela attracts thousands of people every year, and flaunts a variety of stalls for food, fashion, wedding, beauty, property and investment, health and well-being and others. Performers for this year's Mela will be announced next week!

Celebrate social, religious, and cultural organisations Always in the forefront to help and support all religious, social, and cultural organisations, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar is this year, keen on honouring all the community associations that have relentlessly provided aid and courage to its members. We urge leaders and chairpersons of such organisations, to contact us, so that we can honour them on our Anand Mela stage.

Assets India Property Show 2018 For those aspiring to buy property and homes back in India, Anand Mela will showcase the Assets India Property Show this year. In this segment, top real estate dealers and property developers from all across India will present prime flats, pent houses, villas, and plots, for your to buy or invest. There is something for everyone. Property specialists from Assets India will help you find your dream property with proper guidance and advise. Those looking for a loan to buy properties, will find assistance in this year's Anand Mela.

Anand Mela Health & Wellness Expo

Health and fitness has for ever been one of our prime focuses, and this year is no different. With support and association Sardar with Mahatma

Eventually the better sense prevailed for the Raj and the India Office instructed the Viceroy and Governor to settle it along the lines proposed by Vallavbhai Patel. Gandhi announced towards the end of May in 1928 that on 12 June India will celebrate Bardoli Day to salute the defiance and sufferings of the peasants as well as to appreciate the positive response from the authorities. Sardar Patel Memorial Society (UK) has planned an appropriate Bardoli Day in London on 12 June. I gather similar events are being organised by the British Indian community at various places. The Economist has said that even on 14 May, among the Gazian Palestanians there were a sizeable group who were marching peacefully and their protest was totally non violent. One has to salute their courage and conviction. In 1955, Rev Martin Luther King followed the Gandhian way which was successfully adopted by Nelson Mandela after 1968. This path is not painless, but it is certainly less agonising and more durable and dignified than violence that has no winners. It is perhaps easy for someone sitting in London pleading or preaching the Palestanians and asking them to change the course of the campaign drastically. But I humbly believe not only it’s the way but also the better option. After all, there are Israelis in this country and in Israel who are promoting peaceful settlements too. Few in numbers but the Jewish people will be able to prevail upon the extremism in Israel, especially from their own centuries of struggle for a peaceful coexistence with their distant cousins.


o f Meditouria, the Anand Mela Health and Wellness Expo this year will be the service you never knew you needed. Specialist consultants and doctors from major super speciality hospitals and health centres from Gujarat will be present at the expo to help you better yourself. They will provide consultations on physical ailments and any kind of sicknesses. Not only Gujarat, all states in India provide the best in health care today. They boast of state-of-the-art machinery, and prime technology, increasing human life rate. UK's Meditouria connects itself with these hospitals and hearth care centres and provides help to those in need. For further details, please visit Every year, religious, and social communities from London and neighbouring boroughs participate in large numbers. It has been brought to our attention that this year too, organisations and communities are keen on participating. If you or your organisations are interested in associating with Anand Mela, please let us know on a prior basis, so necessary arrangements can be made. Not only your client base, this will also be a unique chance to advertise your own venture. You can reach out to the vast Asian community in a short span of just two days, with Anand Mela. For more details on stall booking, contact us on 020 7749 4080. Contact: Kamal Rao: 07875 229 211 Kokila Patel: 07875 229 117 Kishor Parmar: 07875 229 088

Chelsea Flower Show's first Indian Garden wins silver gilt medal

The first Indian Garden at Chelsea that marks the end of the UK-India Year of Culture, launched at Buckingham Palace in February 2017 has become the silver-gilt winner at the Chelsea Flower Show. In honour of UK-India relation, the garden this year represents the historic and increasingly contemporary ties between our two countries. Sarah Eberle’s design is sparked by the hopes and dreams of young people in India, and also draws on the UK and India’s shared love of cricket espcially the documentary ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’. It also celebrates the 70th anniver-

sary of the British Council in India. Though invited, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has not yet attended the show, which will finish on 26 May. The planting includes Meconopsis (Himalayan blue poppies), found in 1922 by a British expedition led by legendary mountaineer George Leigh Mallroy; Vanda coerulea (blue orchids), which were first collected in the Khasi Hills of India in the modern state of Meghalaya by Thomas Lobb between 1848 and 1853; and roses. Rose motifs often feature in Mughal architecture across northern India, including at the Taj Mahal.

The garden features pietra dura marble designed by traditional craft-workers in Jaipur. Though the layout is Mughal, instead of the temple columns, it has two oversized wooden wickets and a crease. Images of children playing cricket in Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata are also on the walls. The garden has been commissioned by the British Council in partnership with the Piramal Group and is supported by the JSW Group, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), Dr Pheroza J Godrej, Stanrose Mafatlal Group, Dr Gita Piramal and Leena Gandhi Tewari.

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Asian Voice |

South London couple recreate Indian street food experience Every Thursday and Friday, the BritishIndian couple Swati and Karthikk Kandala can be spotted in a vibrantly painted food truck at the Surrey Street Market. Their food truck venture named 'Curry on Naanstop' serves authentic Indian street food including vegan dishes in Croydon, Orpington, Bromley, Cheam, Wallington, Beckenham, Sutton and nearby areas. In India, street food is served from mobile carts and the location of the cart becomes a site of socialising for people. This was one of the reasons why Swati and Karthikk chose a mobile food business over a restaurant. Curry on Naanstop runs from a van with a kitchen on board, and as Swati told Asian Voice, their “recipes are authentic home style simple, fresh and healthy and their food hygiene rating, as per FSA UK, is five”. Swati and Karthikk came to the UK in 2008 and their ambition of owning a food-based business was in the pipeline since the last five years. Swati works in the financial crime team for a high street bank from Mondays

Curry on Naanstop food truck

to Wednesdays and starts her day at 3.30 am. Karthikk, a chemical engineer by profession, now works full time for the business and the couple have a nine-year-old son. The vibrant artwork adorning the truck is inspired by Indian festivals, such as flying kites representing the harvest festival Pongal, and the assorted colours on the van representing Holi, the festival of colours. Speaking to Asian Voice, Swati said that since they started Curry on Naanstop in January, the standard fixed menu of Curry on Naanstop offers Mumbai street food Kolkata street wraps, apart from other food items on popular request via social media. Their menus are

flexible to include popular dishes such as Kachauri and popular Indo-Chinese food. The food truck also claims to bring the experience of Indian street food, which has flavours and mobility at the core of its heart, to people's doors. For events at home and office is like “hiring a commercial kitchen for a day”, apart from collection services. Swati and Karthikk felt that since the nostalgia of Indian street food also includes visual aesthetics, they ought to recreate the visual experience to go along with the food. Swati told Asian Voice that their customer base is expanding to include people who were unfamiliar with Indian food beyond 'the curry'.

Young charity worker handed over valuables, still got stabbed and killed

In a gruesome case of robbery and fatal stabbing of Abdul Samad, 28, two teenagers were found guilty on tmay 18th at the Old Bailey. Nathan Gilmaney, 19, and Troy Thomas, 18, who robbed eight others on the day, stabbing three, as they travelled around London, will face life in jail after being convicted of murder.

Gilmaney got off his moped and stabbed Samad in the chest. Abdul Samad, who was a charity worker,

somehow managed to stagger home and then collapsed in the arms of his parents.

Abdul Samad

Sultana Ahmed, Samad's girlfriend, said in a statement read in court, “We had many plans for this year, and the last thing Abdul said to me was, 'Watch, this year will be our year and we will be a family'. I felt like I died with Abdul that day. He took a part of me that will never come back”. The robbery took place in Paddington, and although Mr Samad had handed over his valuables when confronted,

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26th May 2018

Parents of 3-year-old appeal to South Asian community to save daughter ing as she was still learnLast year in July, Shilan ing to speak in full senMadurasinghe, father of tences. Four days after she three-year-old Camllie started her kindergarten, Malinsa from Tottenham, the cancer came back. was given the news that Owing to Camllie's Sri shattered his world. His Lankan heritage, her young daughter had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) when she was just a little over 2 years old. AML is an acute form of leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, which accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in the UK each year. Camllie was treated with c h e m ot h e r a py, however, relapsed Camllie Malinsa in December, match for a stem cell which means the AML has donor is mot likely to come returned. She is currently from a person with the being treated at Great same ethnic background as Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and urgently her, i.e., Sri Lankan and requires a stem cell transwider South Asian complant – cells from a munity. Her father Shilan healthy person, with the says, “We were devastated same tissue type – to when Camllie’s leukaemia came back. We were told replace and repair her own that because of her backdamaged cells. ground it would be more Camllie had just startdifficult to find a donor, ed going to pre-school which is very unfair. I urge playgroup when she was everybody from the Sri diagnosed, and could not Lankan community to even articulate her suffer-

come together and join the stem cell register”. He added, “Camllie loves reading and running – we just want to see her play at home rather than in hospital.” Sarah Rogers, Anthony Nolan’s Regional Register Development Manager for London, says: “As we support Camllie and her family as they search for a match it highlights the urgent need for more people from Sri Lankan and other minority ethnic backgrounds to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register. Camllie's amily are urging all who can, to sign up as stem cell donors following a simple process that can save a life.” If you feel you could be a potential donor to save Camllie and other children suffering from rare blood cancer, you can register with Anthony Nolan or request a cheek swab test kit from DKMS UK. Anthony Nolan is the UK charity which finds and matches donors, of the correct tissue types, with patients who need stem cell transplants.



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

26th May 2018

Mental Health of Londoners

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Whilst it’s estimated that 2 million Londoners suffer from mental ill health, previous studies show that many do not access any form of treatment. Poor mental health affects people from all backgrounds, but sadly, too many across our city’s diverse communities suffer in silence. Many are still too afraid to speak openly about the issues they face, such as stress, depression and anxiety. Last Summer, the Mayor launched the Thrive LDN movement to improve mental health and well-being across the capital and drive out stigma and discrimination. Thrive LDN also plays the important role of promoting a more joined-up approach between boroughs, health services, police, transport and voluntary organisations when offering support services to people with mental health issues. We want all Londoners to feel confident that they can have an open conversation about their mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week reminds us that it’s important to reach out to family, friends and our work colleagues and ensure those vital support networks are in place. Jennette Arnold, OBE London Assembly Member for the North East

Crisis in schools

The issue of grammar schools have cropped up again when Prime Minister Theresa May announced an allocation of £50 million for 2018-19, with details of the remaining £150 million to be announced later. Grammar schools are state schools that select pupils based on their academic ability. Students are offered places after sitting exams, often at the age of 11, which test skills such as verbal reasoning and maths. There are 163 grammar schools in England, many of which set their own admissions criteria and the type of entrance tests they use. Grammar schools differ from comprehensive schools, which are nonselective. Grammar schools were intended to teach the most academically-able 25% of students as selected by the 11-plus exam. There are 163 grammar schools in England, many of which set their own admissions criteria and the type of entrance tests they use. The beneficiaries of the grammar schools are children from wealthier ground. Children from working class are left behind which put brakes on social mobility. Only a handful of local authorities in England have kept a largely selective schools system, while in other places, only a few grammar schools have survived in an otherwise fully comprehensive system. The initial amount of £50 million for the government would be better spent helping cash-strapped comprehensive schools then to give to well financed grammar schools. The earlier move by Theresa May to expand grammar schools failed, she is now changed her tactics by saying this amount will help to create more school places to provide a chance for bright students from poorer backgrounds to get a higher standard of education without having to pay school fees. This is a red herring to divert the attention from the real issue which is the expansion of grammar schools. However, several academic studies have shown that selective education offers little benefit to pupils. And the final hard knock is that schools are at breaking point as a result of the crisis caused by consistent Conservative education cuts. These schools already need to find an extra £3bn of savings by 2019/20 And according to the School Cuts website, primary schools face an average cut of £45,400, which rises to £185,200 for secondary schools. This decision is inappropriate and is causing divisions and segregation of students and harming the education system. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow


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A duo of Patel brothers having indomitable courage and will

Prior to independence the main points of the then envisaged Indian constitution had been constantly discussed by the main leaders of Indian freedom movement, among whom a few were barristers and solicitors trained in Britain. 'Vir'(indomitably courageous) Vitthalbhai Z. Patel was one of them who had travelled widely outside the country, and was the representative of Bombay Legislative Council, the Imperial Legislative Council, the Viceregal Legislative Council, the Mayor of the city of Bombay (Mumbai), and thereafter the President of the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi (the present Constituent Assembly of India) where he created history by setting out healthy traditions maturing democratic institutions for the prosperity of the united and integrated nation; and he was surely deemed to be the first PM of India,but unfortunately he died in1933. Though later in 1947 during Independence his younger brother Saradar (a leader) Vallabhbhai Patel, who was also called 'the iron man), was voted to be the first PM of India, but Mahatma Gandhi persuaded him to give up the right and to allow Mr Nehru to be PM of India to which Saradar Patel generously agreed. Instead, he became the Deputy PM and Home Minister; and with V P Menon he did the most basic requirement of the day - the mammoth task of convincing the rulers of 565 various princely states to accede to Union of India, explaining the future of the kings and their states within the Union of India, and citing the terms and conditions of the Indian constitution they was being formed at that time. Among the barristers and solicitors who could draft the legal documents of the Indian constitution, Saradar Patel himself was very busy negotiating with the rulers of the princely states; so the task was assigned to Dr Ambedkar, who keenly did it using the legal phrases and terms in English for precise meaning. In the course of it, Mahatma Gandhi, and on behalf of Saradar Patel, K M Munshi, Dada Saheb Mavalankar etc would see Dr Ambedkar to discuss, for example, the interests of Schedule Tribes and Castes etc. The Indian constitution came into force on 26 Jan 50 repealing the Indian Independence Act, declaring a Sovereign democratic republic; and thereafter Saradar Patel, the main architect of the Union of India, who had sacrificed his right to be the first PM of India died on 15 Dec 50. R.N.Patel By email

ABPL on my Samsung

After a harsh winter, what with the beast from the east and the heavy snow falls, the spring has finally sprung and like every one else, we have made plans to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. We have decided to go away to the sunny climes of Ibitha. I am glad to say that while I will be away, I will not miss my favourite AV and GS. I will log into the ABPL website on my mobile phone’s browser and would be able to read this “Your Voice” column of AV and “Mare pan kain kahevun chhe” column of Gujarat Samachar. It is a great relief and reassurance that the e-editions of these papers will be providing me with the facility to read my favourite “Your Voice” column even from abroad. I wonder whether similar facility is available to readers of other papers! I also wonder that if people could read the papers on-line like this then there is little incentive to subscribe to them or to purchase them at the news agents. So what benefit ABPL gets by making them available as e-papers on-line? Having said this, I will state categorically that there is no comparison with the hard copies of the actual full sized versions. I must also confess that I always pre-empt the arrival of the papers through the post by first having a glimpse on the website a day or so before! Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford


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Meghan mania end in grand finale

Meghan mania has taken over our TV and print media as never before. Although I have watched, followed with intense interest other royal weddings, namely that of Prince Charles and Prince William, I feel this grand occasion has overtaken, put into shade all other events. The main reason is that Megan is an unusual, extremely attractive, charming and self-made person who attained this height, became heartthrob through hard work, having come from humble background. Normally having mixed parentage in a racially conscious America, such background may act as barrier but not in Megan’s case. After all brain, beauty, charm and intelligence normally triumphs over such adversities, as we say clouds can never hinder, hide Sun for ever. If press reports are to be believed, it was Prince Harry who approached her after watching her on Canadian TV and as we say rest is history. By marrying Megan, cupid Prince Harry has broken all conventional rules, taboos and royal exclusiveness, feudalism, as she is of mixed race, divorcee and couple of years older than him. Harry has brought Royal Family into 21st Century, thus facilitating other royals who may want to follow into his foot-steps. Print media had field day with headlines like, Harry ever-after, Kisstory, Magically modern royal family, there is power in love, two people fell in love and we all showed up, quoting from the sermon by American Bishop Michael Curry, an electrifying speech that held audience spell bound, quoting from bible and civil rights activist Minister Michael Luther King’s speech. One sad sight, at least for me was seeing Megan’s mum sitting alone, being the only family member from her side. Someone from royal family, like Princess Anne, should have sat with her, although Prince Charles went out of his way to welcome her. I also found her wedding dress too plane, devoid of all frills, compared to what Lady Diana and Duchess of Cambridge wore at their weddings. But Megan being so charming and beautiful, it did not matter! Kumudini Valambia By email

Trump vs Kim: Punch and Judy show

When two Korean presidents Kim Jung-un and Moon Jae-in got together, world breathed sigh of relief, especially Japan which is in the firing line, at the prospect of turning Korean peninsula nuclear free zone. But many believed that in the reign of unpredictable and volatile President Trump, nothing could be taken for granted until it is signed, sealed and delivered. Even then it could be sabotaged with ease, as is the case with Iran Nuclear Deal and Climate Change treaty, signed by ex-president Obama but rejected by Trump, breaking international promise and obligation. North Korean (NK) President Kim went out of his way to release three American citizens and promised to close down nuclear testing site for good, in front of international press and American observers. How was Kim rewarded! America holding annual naval exercise with South Korea (SK) in Yellow Sea that washes shores of both Koreas and is long standing bone of contention with not only NK but China as well, forcing NK to cancel bilateral talks with South. Then newly appointed Security adviser to President Trump, Bush-era hawk John Bolton who replaced H. R. McMaster, poured petrol over the deal by announcing that neither sanctions nor economic aid will be forth-coming until NK gives up for good its nuclear arsenal, foolishly quoting none other than Libyan President Ghaddafi who voluntarily gave up his nuclear arsenal fifteen years ago! NK President Kim was quick to point out the price Ghaddafi had to pay with his life for his mistake, trusting and believing in promises by the West. Kim threatened to pull out of talks to be held in Singapore with Trump in June. No wonder President Trump had to intervene and promise safety of Kim if he plays the cards right! Street-wise Kim is no fool, with his own nuclear arsenal capable of delivering fatal blows to SK and Japan, if not America. Let us hope that this was a temporary hitch and talks will go ahead as scheduled with promising outcome. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Greenwich Uni fined for data breach

The University of Greenwich has been fined £120,000 ($160,000) by the I n f o r m a t i o n Commissioner. The fine was for a security breach in which the personal data of 19,500 students was placed online. The data included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, signatures and - in some cases - physical and mental health problems. It was uploaded onto a microsite for a training conference in 2004, which was then not secured or closed down. In 2013 it was compromised and the information, which had been published alongside committee meeting minutes, was posted elsewhere. In some cases it included individual students' study progress,

including reasons why they had fallen behind, and copies of emails between them and staff. In one example, it was disclosed that a student had a brother who was fighting in a Middle Eastern army and references were made to an asylum application. The breach was discovered by one of the students, who brought the matter to the attention of the BBC and the Information Commissioner Office (ICO). The Information Commissioner said Greenwich was the first university to receive a fine under the Data Protection Act of 1998 and described the breach as "serious". In a statement, the university said it would not appeal against the decision. It said it had carried out "an unprecedented

overhaul" of its data protection and security systems since the discovery of the breach in 2016, and it had invested in both technology and staff. It also said the fine would be reduced to £96,000 with a prompt payment discount. "We acknowledge the ICO's findings and apologise again to all those who may have been affected," said University Secretary Peter Garrod.

"No organisation can say it will be immune to unauthorised access in the future, but we can say with confidence to our students, staff, alumni and other stakeholders, that our systems are far more robust than they were two years ago as a result of the changes we have made. "We take these matters extremely seriously and keep our procedures under constant review to ensure they reflect best practice."

A Home Office advisory committee has ditched research assessing the impact of international students after academics labelled it "unethical". The survey, set up by the Migration Advisory Committee (Mac), which informs Home Office policy, asked for students' views on international classmates. But it could be completed by anyone and some said it posed "loaded" questions. A Mac spokesman stressed the survey was "not designed to be discriminatory", but con-

firmed it was being withdrawn. "Following online commentary it has become apparent to us that we will be unable to use the responses to the survey," the spokesman said. The committee defended the survey, saying it was "simply an attempt to ask students for their experiences" and "had the potential to show a very positive view of international students in the UK". However, on Thursday, it concluded the survey "cannot now be used to add to our evidence base".

Prof Tanja Bueltmann, a professor of migration history at Northumbria University, said the survey was "completely invalid and must never be used as evidence to inform policy". A Universities UK spokesman said: "Due to legitimate concerns raised about a Migration Advisory Committee survey on international students, we will not be sharing it further. "While it's important that policy-makers hear from students about international students' positive impact, views must be

sought appropriately." Prof Bueltmann said: "In principle there's nothing wrong with a survey on the impact of international students, but say you look Asian and you're actually British, but the student standing next to you thinks you're Asian?" This could mean the person is basing their views on the wrong information, she suggested.

Home Office axes 'unusable' survey

School delay does not help summer-born Delaying a summer-born child's entry to primary school has little impact on attainment, research suggests. Children born in England between April and August, whose start in Reception was put back a year, did only marginally better in Year 1 tests, according to a government study. The number of applications to councils for delayed entry has risen sharply. Head teachers' unions want clearer guidance on whether delayed school entry for summerborn children works. Department for Education researchers looked at results achieved in the Phonics Screening Check, taken by pupils at the end of Year 1. Pupils whose school start was delayed a year in 2014 and 2015 scored on average 0.7 marks higher than other summer-born children. The researchers say the difference is not statistically significant. Pupils who were not summer-born outperformed both the delayed and normal admission summer-born pupils. The analysis also found parents with higher incomes were significantly more likely to request a

delayed school start for their child. It also found the majority of applications, 74%, were from white British families. Children in England usually start school in the September after they turn four but parents of children born between 1 April and 31 August can request to delay entry for a year. Typically, this would mean a child starting school in Year 1, forfeiting Reception year. If a parent wishes to delay their child's admission to school until compulsory school age, at five, and be admitted into Reception, a request needs to be made to their local authority, for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group. Councils are required to make a decision in the child's best interests, taking account of parents' views and information about the child's development. Pauline Hull, of the Summer Born Campaign which has called for more flexible admissions, welcomed the report but said "the most important comparison is how much better these children are faring having started school at age five, rather than age four, and the DfE research does not address this.

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New Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz speaking at a public meeting on safety pledge for young people

been witness to over recent weeks and months; it has been a constant feature in the lives of our young people for some time. Their safety is something we must all drive forward.”

During her first week in office the Mayor’s inaugural event was an assembly for young people staged at Forest Gate Youth Zone where their voices could be heard.


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Newham Mayor's safety pledge to young people

New Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz led a minute’s silence in memory of student Sami Sidhom ahead of a community meeting on Monday 14th May about how Newham can be made a safer place for everyone. Sami, 18, from Forest Gate, died following a stabbing attack close to his home last month. The public meeting at Durning Hall was called in response to his death and that of a 14-year-old boy who was shot dead in the area last year. Almost 200 people attended the meeting where residents, agencies and organisations involved in tackling youth crime and prevention, including Newham Council, shared and listened to opinions. Mayor Fiaz spoke of her commitment to dealing with youth violence and having young people at the heart of conversations about the problem. She said: “My decision to emphasise the importance of youth safety as part of my mayoralty hasn’t been a consequence of the events that we have all


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26th May 2018

The Janata Dal-Congress coalition has triumphed, but ‘it was a damned close run thing,’ as the victorious Duke of Wellington is supposed to have exclaimed after the Battle of Waterloo. The coalition had the numbers, the BJP did not, as its State leader B.S.Yeddurappa sullenly recognized when resigning without even a mandatory floor-count. Back, then, to basics. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections had produced a hung chamber. Despite this, the BJP’s had emerged as the largest party in the State with 104 seats, just short of the 112 seats that would have given it an absolute majority and ensured it the reins of power. H.D. Kumaraswamy

The governing Congress Party with 122 seats in the old Legislative Assembly, won only 78 this time round, while the third party, the Janata Dal United (Secular) made held the balance between the two with 38 seats. Janata Dal-Congress coalition based on their combined 118 Assembly seats won the day. By supporting the regional JDU (S), Congress appears to be signaling its willingness to cut deals with likeminded regional parties. A JDU(S) Chief Minister, with Congress support, is set to take over the reins. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, a BJP appointee with strong RSS connections, exceeded discretion by permitting the BJP 15 days in which to prove they had the numbers to form the next government. The Supreme Court brought the Governor sharply to heel by issuing instructions that the vote of confidence had to be taken at 4 pm on Saturday, May 19, thus aborting any possible skullduggery of buying defectors in a bid to install a BJP ministry headed by Yeddurappa. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and this was one such case. The JDU(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy will face a vote of confidence and has the numbers to form the next state government with the support of the Congress party. The impact of these developments could be far-reaching, although it would be hazardous to make a prediction just yet. BJP President Amit Shah has clearly lost face. So has his party. Their powers of recovery will surely be tested to the full over the next weeks and months. The Supreme Court sent out a robust signal in upholding democratic values and the rule of law.

Fact file A further fact should be taken into account. The Congress voteshare of 38 per cent to the BJP’s 36.2 per cent, while the JDU (S) polled 18.3 per cent share of the vote, slightly down on the 20.19 it polled in 2013. (Media reports, May 18,19, 20).

Cabinet reshuffle While Karnataka endured its election convulsions and

holding its breath awaiting the election results, Prime Minister Modi initiated a Cabinet reshuffle, removing the high profile Smriti Irani from her exalted perch as Information & Broadcasting Minister, passing the baton to Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, who thus takes a step up the political ladder. The capable Railway Minister Piyush Goyal takes temporary concurrent charge of the Finance Ministry, while the present incumbent Arun Jaitley recovers from his recent renal operation. (Times of India, Hindu May 15).

Tharoor charged In arguably the most challenging case, lasting 1,577 days (4 years), encountered by the Delhi Police, an investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of the high profile Congress politician Shashi Tharoor, ended with a charge against Tharoor of aiding

Tharoor is no innocent. His public life has been tainted with scandal, one of which related to his activities in Indian cricket’s Premier League (IPL). notwithstanding his high voltage, anti-British statements as proof of his Indian patriotism, It doesn’t, of course, follow that Tharoor is guilty as charged. That is for the courts to decide (Times of India May 15).

Indian outreach to North Korea

ITBP beefed up The paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBF) is being strengthened in phases with greater manpower, infrastructure, theatre command headquarters, a dozen patrol camps and 47 new border outposts along the 3,488 km India-China border. Nine new battalions of 9,000 men will patrol the Indo-Tibetan Chinese border. The government is planning to raise 15 new battalions for duty along the frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh. The theatre command headquarters of the ITBP in all probability will be located in Arunachal Pradesh and extend to Sikkim.

PM to visit Russia Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to visit Sochi for a one-to-one conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That set the cat among certain Indian media pigeons, notably The Times of India’s egregious Diplomatic

General V.K. Singh in North Korea, with local dignitaries

General V.K. Singh’s surprise visit to North Korea tells of India’s ambitious and imaginative diplomatic outreach. As Minister of State at the Ministry of External Affairs, he is senior-most Indian dignitary to visit this hitherto reclusive state, now fully engaged with the international community. It would be best to assess his visit to Pyongyang on the chessboard of Prime Minister Modi’s forthcoming summit with President Putin in Sochi. General Singh met with North Korean Vice President Kim Yong Dai and Foreign and Cultural Affairs Ministers and discussed a range of political, economic and regional issues.

Indian concerns General Singh expressed India’s nuclear proliferation concerns in the context of its combustible neighborhood [read Pakistan]; his North Korean hosts assured him that, as a friendly country, they would do nothing to injure Indian interests. India’s newly appointed an ambassador to North Korea has presented his credentials (Hindu May 15). privileged strategic partnership. Both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters.’ The statement, wrote Bhattacharjee, ‘comes days after

and abetting his wife’s suicide through sustained harassment and psychological pressure. During the investigation, the Delhi Police called upon the America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for help in the latest techniques to unravel the mystery of Pushkar’s death. It was the longest and most expensive investigation in the annals of the Delhi police with many technical firsts in the investigative process. The charges against Tharoor run to thousands of pages.

Witch hunt The Congress Party has dismissed the charges as a witch hunt. The BJP has averred, correctly, that he should resign his seat in Parliament until his name is cleared in a court of law.

and bilateral matters at the highest levels. Summing up, the Sochi Summit comes in the wake of Putin’s re-election as President of the Russian Federation and his subsequent inauguration to that office. (Times of India, Hindu, Economic Times, Business Line May 15).

No kowtowing to US bullying

PM Modi with Russian President Putin Shashi Tharoor


Correspondent Indrani Bagchi, who declared sourly that that it was ‘undeniable India and Russia are on different global trajectories,’ ergo, that their relationship lacked content. Factoid cannot be transformed into verifiable fact through ritualized incantation.

Reality check Almost a century ago, a great English newspaper editor pronounced: ‘Facts are sacred, comment is free.’ Bagchi’s tendentious piece was high in subjective comment and lamentably devoid of verifiable fact. Kallol Bhattacharjee’s report in The Hindu included the following fact by India’s Ministry of External Affairs: ‘This will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on international matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening our special and

[Indian] Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met with [Russian] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. Indicating the long-term perspective of the partnership,’ Doval referred to the ‘multilateral platforms such as the Russia-India-China (RIC), BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Doval explained: ‘All this allows us to interact and coordinate our approaches in the UN and various military and political mechanisms in the Asia Pacific region.’ He pointed to a gradual reset of ties between India, Russia and China. Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, in The Economic Times, broadly replicated this take, supplanting this with details, such as Doval’s two (not one) visits to Russia in the last two months, plus that of the BJP ideologue Ram Madhav. India and Russia have regular consultations on international

As an afterword, the External Affairs Ministry, in what appears to be a privileged briefing, told The Hindu’s Diplomatic Correspondent Suhasini Haider, that India would not bow to American demands that its projected sanctions against Russia and Iran be obeyed, or otherwise India itself could be sanctioned. With Russia in mind, a bristling Ministry source told Haider: ‘We are not going to allow our defence requirements to be dictated by any other country. Whatever is in India’s interests in terms of procuring equipment for national security is what will determine how we act…’

Solidarity with Russia Haider writes: ‘ The government has made it clear that it is also standing by Russia on the latest standoff with western countries over the Salisbury case of chemical poisoning of two Russians in the UK, as well as alleged Russian support to the Assad regime for chemical attacks in Syria.’ She said the Ministry had ‘demanded evidence of these allegations before “apportioning blame.” ‘ Prime Minister Modi’s oneto-one talks with President Putin are expected to last 4-6 hours, following which the Indian Premier will take the evening flight home. (Hindu May 18).

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Grand musical tribute to celebrate the life and work of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj

A grand musical tribute to commemorate the life and work of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’ – on Sunday 20 May 2018. The event brought together more than 200 children, youths and senior participants – from the age of 6 to 70 – from around the country. They sang a series of bhajans depicting Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s saintliness, while talented musicians accompanied the singing with a variety of musical instruments. This was the first of 100 such musical tributes that will take place over the coming three years in commemoration of the centennial birth anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj (19212016). Similar programmes are planned to take place at towns and cities across the UK and parts of Europe to honour the inspiring life, work and values of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and who served as the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) for more than 45 years. He is regarded

worldwide as one of the great Hindu gurus of this era. Sunday’s grand launch included a choral performance in which more than 150 vocalists sang in unison as a mark of harmony and

togetherness. Swamis also joined in the devotional singing and narrated personal experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A series of videos depicting Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s universal love and compassion for humanity were also shown throughout the evening, complementing the lyrics of the bhajans being sung. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual successor of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and current guru of BAPS, provided inspiration for by the celebrations sanctifying a themed flag that will journey across

each of the 100 tribute venues. He also blessed the initiative by sending a special video message in which he spoke about the spiritual significance of devotion through music. Rakesh Gunchala, one of the lead volunteers for

the performance, shared, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a great patron of the performing arts and always encouraged involving everyone, so it was very heart-warming to see so many singers and musicians of all ages come together from around the UK for this event. In many ways, this is the perfect way to pay tribute to an inspiring life lived for the joy of others – by sharing the joy and inspiration of music. We’re really looking forward to the next 99 now, which will also help identify, nurture and harmonise musical talent across Europe.”


26th May 2018

Duncan Lewis obtains reprieve against removal of foreign national on the basis of possible mistaken identity

Howard Cheng, Solicitor of the Immigration and Public Law departments at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, is representing a national of Somalia in obtaining a Howard Cheng reprieve against his removal to Hargeisa, from where the Home Office claims he originates. Somaliland is a self-declared independent state in northwest Somalia, which is currently not recognised by the UK government. The client maintains that he comes from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and not Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. The Home Office claim to have obtained authority from the authorities of Somaliland to effect the removal, albeit with a different middle name. Although a seemingly trivial detail, the true extent of the difference can only really be fully appreciated if one understands the naming conventions in Somali culture. The significance of the “middle” name in Somali naming convention is that it is usually one’s father’s name, and therefore a different “middle” name would mean that it would be a different person altogether, due to the identification of someone else being named as the father. Duncan Lewis assisted the client in filing a judicial review application to prevent his removal, inter alia on the basis that the authority which the Home Office purported to have received from the Somaliland authorities actually authorised the return of a different individual to the client, due to a difference in the middle name cited.  The Home Office initially defended this aspect of the claim, taking the view that “notwithstanding the possible difference in middle name” it was nonethe-

less the same person. The judicial review further challenged the Home Office’s certification of the client’s case, which prevented him from making an in-country appeal against the decision of the Home Office before the First-Tier Tribunal. Through their legal representatives at the Government Legal Department, the Home Office eventually offered settlement, agreeing to withdraw their certification of the matter, allowing the client to appeal against the decision to the First-Tier Tribunal. The case now continues, pending an appeal. “This case highlights why it is so important for people who regularly work with people from different backgrounds and cultures to have an understanding of those cultures in order to form a fully informed opinion,” Howard observes. This is exemplified by a diplomatic faux pas which hit the news recently, which saw Israel offend the Japanese delegation after a day of high-level meetings by serving dessert from a shoe. Howard Cheng is the lead solicitor in this case and Ellen McCormack, also of Duncan Lewis, assisted with the judicial review application. Howard has extensive experience in matters concerning deportation, unlawful detention, unlawful removals, and assisting vulnerable clients challenging the Home Office. Contact Howard on 020 7275 2850 or Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors

Duncan Lewis holds exclusive legal aid contracts to represent vulnerable clients in immigration detention matters; detained asylum casework; unaccompanied asylum seeking children; bringing judicial reviews before the High Court, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani appointed as Brent’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure Following the Brent Council AGM, Cllr Krupesh Hirani has been appointed as the Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure at the London Borough. He has been the Councillor responsible for Adult Social Care since 2012 and has been the youngest Cabinet lead in the Country overseeing this highly specialised portfolio over the last six years. In May 2018 he won his third consecutive election standing for the Labour Party in Dudden Hill ward. Each time he has stood for election he has increased his majority from being elected by 50 votes in 2010 to winning by 700 votes in 2014. He won his

recent election by 1,400 votes. He is well known in the Hindu community and was instrumental in connecting Sadiq Khan with the Hindu community in North West London in the lead up to the London Mayoral elections in 2012. His newly created portfolio merges some of his existing responsibilities overseeing prevention of ill health, sport and leisure with the important Culture portfolio which includes libraries and implementing the

Cllr Krupesh Hirani

London Borough of Culture programme. Earlier this year, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced Brent as the London Borough of Culture for 2020 and all eyes will be on Cllr Hirani’s brief over the next few years as Brent moves on to deliver a series of events and programme to celebrate Brent’s culture and diversity. Cllr Krupesh Hirani said, “It has been a real honour leading on Adult Social Care in Brent for six years. I am looking forward to the new

challenge leading the Public Health, Culture and Leisure portfolio. All eyes will be in Brent in 2020 for London Borough of Culture and the UEFA European Championship with the final being played at Wembley. Our Public Health priorities will be geared towards on encouraging and support-

ing our residents to make healthy lifestyle choices with a particular focus on diet and exercise.” He is joined in the Cabinet by five other Councillors of Asian origin including the Leader Cllr Muhammed Butt, Cllr Shama Tatler, Cllr Krupa Sheth, Cllr Mili Patel and Cllr Dr Amer Agha.

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Asian Voice |

26th May 2018


Archana Ambre and Deborah Das, and their UK volunteer, that quoted Martin Luther Imogen Mansfield. They were King, sent out a very poignant not invited in the Chapel, but message about identity and poliwatched the wedding from the invite. Out of these 600 guests, who offered food and tics to all. inside grounds of Windsor refreshment. Sunil, who only 200 were invited to the In the UK, some have seen Castle. Suhani was the only one was travelling from exclusive evening reception, that the prejudices, others have from the team to have been Croydon, South London included Chopra. In the evening debated if it is truly possible for a invited inside the Chapel, but with his family to watch she wore a sparkly Dior gown, newcomer to integrate given the they all donned beautiful pastel the wedding told Asian letting the hair loose. political and immigration disshade sarees, bought from Raw Voice, “My daughter is In the caption of her cord. The recent Windrush scanMango in Colaba, Mumbai. four and she has learnt Instagram post, Chopra, sharing dal has added fuel to fire. But In May 2016, Markle was one about the wedding at a photo of the groom and bride many in the Asian community of the guests at a party, at the school. She came and told leaving their ceremony wrote, have come forward to celebrate NoMad hotel in New York City, to my wife that she wanted to “Every once in a while there is a this union as a message to the honour the 10 women shortlisted attend it. So I thought it moment when time stands still.. by Glamour. One of them was rest of the world about 'unity in will be good for her to soak that happened today.” Suhani, who had won $20,000 for Asians cheering for the Royal couple "You my friend.. were the epitin the atmosphere today and the Myna Mahila Foundation. ome of grace, love and beauty. witness this history in makaccompanied part of the way by The more Markle learnt about ing. I am here with my daughter, Every choice made at this wedding Prince Charles, and by 10 young the Myna Mahila Foundation, wife and her parents, having a nice by you both will go down in histopage boys and bridesmaids. The the more she got into it. In 2017, picnic, enjoying the beautiful ry, not just because it was your children include 4 year old she flew down to Mumbai and sunny day, and being part of this wedding but because this incrediPrince George and 3 year old visited the small factory. Markle momentous occasion.” ble wedding stood for change and Princess Charlotte, children of even wrote about Suhani's founAn Indian-origin woman who hope. Both things that the world Prince William and the Duchess dation in Time magazine in stood in the road from as early as needs desperately. Thank you for of Cambridge. March that year. Bishop Michael Curry 5 in the morning, said, “I saw the being the perfect picture of all By walking part of the way Speaking exclusively to Asian Royal couple right from near. I things good.. seeing your union alone and choosing Keller as her diversity' and 'Britain's Big Voice, Suhani said she was comacquired a very beautiful place as I and love blessed in front of my eyes designer, she made a huge femiSociety'. Some have even called plemented by Priyanka Chopra stood on the road for two and a Made me so happy.. and tear up! I nist statement. When she Harry like their 'own child' havfor her saree. “I told Priyanka how wish you both love happiness and half hours. I have been here in the reached the altar, a nervous and ing seen him growing up over the my mum and I watched and loved togetherness always.." UK for 50 years and I love Harry. I teary Harry said to Meghan: "You years. her videos, her speech about glass have seen Diana get married, In the wedding present was look amazing." ceiling. You know how she loves Harry being born and grow up. He also representatives from the Harry's gift to her was his A day of jubilation her mother, she thanked me prois like a child to us.” mother's ring, which she fusely and was so A regular visitor to Windsor, the Amrita and family were travwore on her way to the happy, asked me to town was unrecognisable on the elling from Delhi to attend the reception. Prince Charles' thank my mother day. So much fun and frolic, peowedding and said, “I was meant speech moved the audience too.” ple in fascinators and evening to visit UK later but coincided our to tears, while Harry's speech Talking about dresses, walked around cheering visit with this wedding date. Just met with loud cheer. her experience at and singing. As the trains pulled wanted to experience the celebraThe blooms which the wedding, she into the two stations, people in tion around it.” adorned St George’s Chapel added, “The whole in Windsor experience of going Castle on to the Chapel made Saturday were it much more sent to various grounded for me. hospices and When you were actuw o m e n ’ s AV journalist Rupanjana (left) covering the wedding , ally there you refuges includ- with Imogen, Archana, Suhani and Deborah from Myna realised how normal Mahila Foundation ing St Joseph’s everybody was. It Myna Mahila Foundation, Hospice in was a lovey-dovey setting, everyincluding 26 year old founder Hackney. Meghan's body talking about friendship, love Suhani Jalota. The Indian charibouquet laid on the and family. It was a nice and heart ty which is a women's menstrual Grave of the warming experience.” health foundation, provides Unknown Warrior Deborah and Archana who affordable sanitary napkins to on the Westminster had ice cream at the wedding women from Mumbai's most Abbey memorial along with Imogen, loved the impoverished neighbourhoods. which symbolises whole experience of being a part It was among seven other charithe sacrifices made of the inner grounds of Windsor. ties chosen by the bride and by British troops at They said they felt privileged to groom to benefit from donations war. be present there on such an marking their wedding. important day. They were mesDuke and Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Harry with Suhani was accompanied Royal Guests merised how clean the city was wife Meghan, mother Doria, Prince William, wife Kate, Charlotte, George and other and how people looked after The wedding had bidesmiads and pageboys their own rubbish, carrying them 2000 plus guests, away with themselves. out of which 600 were allowed florescent safety jackets, ran Markle on the day Suhani who met Meghan into the Chapel. Rest sat in the towards the passengers handing Meghan Markle wore a beautiful briefly at the reception was mesgrounds of Windsor castle and them over free UK flags. Givenchy gown designed British merised by Sir Elton John's peramong them were ordinary On the train from London, designer Clare Waight Keller, the formance. Speaking about her British folks, selected for their many could not find seats due to first female artistic director for meeting with Markle at the wedaccomplishment and societal over crowding and there were the designer. The bride wanted ding, she added, “She told me contributions through a nominapeople travelling all the way “53 countries of the that now she would be able to tion process. The guest list also from America for the wedding, Commonwealth with her on her give more time to such humaniincluded 200 charity workers, who sounded very excited. journey through the ceremony” tarian work.” 100 pupils from local British Outside the railway station and and Clare Waight Keller created a The team also organised an schools, and 610 people associatall around the town, people sold veil embroidered with the flora event called 'Chaat for Change' ed with Windsor Castle. These souvenirs and flags with the of each one. It included India’s on Monday evening at Calcutta individuals did not actually see Royal couple's face on them. national flower, Lotus. Each Canteen by Asma Khan of the wedding, though they were Almost 100,000 people three-dimensional flower was Darjeeling Express fame, where on the castle grounds to witness descended on Windsor to see unique and was embroidered on they made pav bhaji and chaat the procession. Prince Harry marry his bride on to the five-metre train by hand. along with Khan's team. A ticket Indian origin actress Saturday 19 May. The city was Her bouquet was designed by cost £20 for ultimate chaat items Priyanka Chopra, who has been decorated with buntings and the florist Philippa Craddock and like bhel puri, pav bhaaji, aloo a long standing friend of huge flags, while many wore featured flowers that Harry bondas. The pavs (bread) travMeghan's, attended the wedding Harry and Meghan masks, handpicked on Friday from his elled all the way from Baker's in a Vivienne Westwood lilac walked around waving at others. private garden at Kensington Pride in Thane, Mumbai, along lunch-suit and a Philip Treacy's Even as the wedding comPalace. with the Myna Mahila team. All atelier. Her make up was done by menced, trains arrived from They were added to forgetticket proceedings were meant Pati Dubroff, using Chanel. She London packed with Royal wedme-nots (chosen because they for the foundation. was among many other guests ding enthusiasts. were Diana, Princess of Wales’s Rosie Ginday born in the UK from Hollywood including Many Asian families were out favourite flower) as well as sweet to Punjabi parents, was also George Clooney with wife Amal, with parents (grandmothers in peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, among 1,200 members of the and 'Suits' co-stars. Idris Alba salwars) and children, who sat jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs public invited. 34 year old was there too, along with David around in parks with food and of myrtle. The latter is a royal Ginday is the founder of ‘Miss and Victoria Beckham, Sir Elton drinks, watching the Royal wedtradition in bridal bouquets. Macaroon’, a business that not John and Serena Williams. ding on the big screen. Parks Priyanka Markle arrived to a fanfare only produces and sells small Obamas, Donald Trump and even had food and drink stalls, Chopra and walked down the aisle French biscuits called ‘macaTheresa May did not receive any Continued from page 1 AsianVoiceNews


humanitarian work she roons’ but also uses its has been doing.” profits towards employSpeaking about star ment training opportunispotting at the wedding, he ties for young people. The added, “One of my dreams Birmingham-based enterwas to see Priyanka Chopra. prise impressed the Royals Not only she is an icon in when they visited the city, India but also in the rest of and also got a taste of the world. We saw her some of her macaroons. today, and we She also owns called out her Birmingham’s name. She looked first macaroon and smiled at us, and prosecco though there bar, which were too many opened in the VIPs and too city in October much of securi2016. Ahead of ty.” the wedding Guest Cassie Ginday told Lokko's dress for PTI, “It’s really the Royal wedexciting to Rosie Ginday receive this ding was made invitation and by a designer of be acknowledged in this Brit Asian-origin, Raishma (see page 4). way. They are using the occasion to shine a light on organisations working Students celebrate to improve their communities, which is fantastic.” the wedding Ginday took some of her Sai School of Harrow, the macaroons to share with Saturday School which guests at the picnic that won the Queens Award in

Sai School Harrow students celebrating the wedding

2005 for promoting citiwas planned on the wedzenship values hosted a ding day. Royal Brunch today to celBesides them were ebrate the Wedding where Davinder Prasad JP, Gen pupils came dressed in Sec, BAPIO and his daughtheir tiaras and tuxedos to ter Rena Dipti Antonnie, win the Best Dressed who said “It was a very surAwards. real experience. It's a new Mums and Dads also dawn for the Royal family. helped baked cakes as This was my first time to a Royal Buntings went up Royal wedding. It and children and was spectacular, their families but you come away enjoyed cream with the feeling cakes and pastries that even though whilst watching they are from live coverage of the Royal family, ultiwedding. Pupils mately it is about also participated two people getting in the Coat of Arms married and makcompetition Davinder Prasad JP ing vows to each where each child other. They will have the had to design their own same challenges of a marfamily coat of arms. Kiyan riage, of trying to make it Shah was the winner as he work, may however famous wrote out his Surname and you are.” put a slogan against each Mr Prasad said, “Being word to represent his fama British Asian in this ily. country you wish best of l S Save the Planet luck to the Duke and l H Help others Duchess of Sussex. They l A group of hard working have changed the way people monarchy works in this l H Happy always country, which is unimagSia Kundalia, 6 years, won inable. With time the the Best Dressed Girls Royal family has changed prize and her Mother, too and it is evident that Devina Kundalia comPrince Harry has given mented on how Sia more priority to Meghan enjoyed being a princess over Royal protocols. This for the day. young couple is an example for our younger generation that love should come first. Also they are going to be youth ambassadors of Commonwealth countries and I hope Meghan carries on with the

Dhruv Boruah: The Thames Project Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


Sunetra Senior



know how big a problem this is in London.


ast September, Dhruv caused quite the watery stir with his bamboo bike, which was used to conscientiously sift through the many creeks and bends of the notoriously murky Thames. An impassioned departure from his tired, corporate routine, the environmental crusader turned to tackle the underreported dangers of plastic pollution more proactively. “I had used nature to escape from city life beforehand,” he commented. “On my many travels, some of which took me to the most remote corners of the planet, I increasingly noticed plastic bottles and debris cluttering up the beautiful landscape: they were getting caught in fishing nets. Marine life, such as turtles, were becoming entangled and struggling. How could I forget this? I left my job in management consulting to affect an immediate change.” Indeed, using a bamboo contraption - itself the former product of one his many escapades, this time to Himalyas,” Dhruv would have to Colombia - Dhruv was able to graph“backpack across rivers” as part of ically reinforce a powerful reusing, daily life which has “built character refusing, and as the last resort, recyand created a curiosity for explocling statement. In a digitally ration,” which he feels deserves as flooded world, his rotating much protection: “people’s show of responsibility on eyes are not meant for mulPeople’s eyes the water uniquely tiple screens – they are “drew people’s attenare not meant for meant for stars and expetion to the cause and multiple screens – riencing the world. became a great conthey are meant for Staying trapped in the versation starter.” He stars and experiencoffice isn’t exactly going prompted active to achieve this. When you ing the planet. awareness of the issue, challenge yourself and look refreshingly also using outwards, you are able to the advertising medium to grow. You don’t want to become combat the damaging effect of a clone – following the same route of consumerism. The signature water getting a job, a house and car. You’re bike is balanced on two inflated floats working so hard for work that isn’t where the whole technical body is powered by the back wheel. Now, a whole year on, what started out as a personal project has evolved into a thriving, socially conscious community. Many have joined Dhruv to specially maintain the river on SUP boards, water bikes, canoes and kayaks, and he is currently lobbying governments and councils as well as creating environmentally-friendly proposals for potential political campaigns. *** He also encourages documentation of research into plastic litter, “using £20.00 microscopes to sample water,” the findings of which are shared with Thames21 and Thames Estuary Partnership. His local London project has become more advanced and co-ordinated, and has even expanded to other waterways, in addition to the famous landmark. Here, Dhruv emphasised that plastic wastage does not just impact wildlife, but also human health: “having deeply investigate the subject, the truth is very shocking. There is real danger, for example, in the microfibers and microplastics that act as magnets and attract toxic pharmaceutical chemicals. They are in the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe.” But the ethos of his initiative does not end at physical hygiene. Growing up in a remote and rural area of India, at the “foot of the

even that well paid! Looking at life creatively and differently has always been the philosophy that’s kept me going.” Sure enough, as well as his professional diversification, the activist has kept his personal pursuits ranging and alive. From Arctic expeditions to ocean sailing and rally driving, Dhruv pushes every earthly limit: “my initiatives always have purpose: there is a tremendous motivation.” Thus, his hands-on approach to the organic surroundings shows us that growing closer to them at once acquaints us with a purer sense of self. Are there more social issues you are equally as passionate about? Yes, I am in interested in mental health, which is the core cause of selfharm in the UK. Having spoken to friend in the emergency services, I

Have you observed your work with the Thames Project to have overlapped in this regard? Have you seen people become more cheered and extroverted? Yes definitely. A recent clean-up project involved around 6 canoes at the Regent’s Canal, and had the young ones having a lot of fun. They said it was like a game. Older visitors, some of whom came from outside the UK, were happy to have connected with London from such a reflected distance. They felt the whole procedure to be de-stressing. It’s good to get more people joining in with this calming effect because they tell their friends about the movement, and naturally want to spread the word. What else drove you towards this Thames project? As well as the environment, it’s about doing the activities you can still do while you have the health. You want to explore while your body can still support you – this is the time to take the risks! Did your explorer’s upbringing change your life perspective in more ways than one? Yes, coming from a background where there was no infrastructure, and where life was minimalist, gives me a wider scope for experience and options. I’m also much more a doer than a talker. I know that you must act to really change what is happening around you. What’s been a highlight with your Thames Project? To see how fast it’s grown! I’m actually trying to form a small national plastic collective at the moment. There is also a small robotics project in the US who I’d like to work with to develop a model for the UK: you can actually log into a small robot and take it out for a spin to collect plastic! What do you see for the future of this project? I’d like to promote a circular economy, in which people are thinking of the end life of each product. This would extend the life cycle of all raw materials and reduce waste. Plastic would be retained as long as possible, having been planned for during the design stage. It’s about sustainability. Finally, do you have a comment on how people can fight plastic pollution on an everyday basis? Starting small can help. Select one day a week where you go plastic-free: whether it is reusing a coffee cup or cooking instead of ordering out that night. Also: start a conversation. Talk to others to inspire your friends and colleagues to act on the issue of plastic pollution too. W: If you want to get involved, please drop Dhruv an email or visit


Small charities honoured for making big difference

Asian Voice |

26th May 2018


Rupanjana Dutta

C B Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice

David Stead, Director, Philanthropy and Development, CAF

Pratik Dattani, Charity Clarity

L George, CEO, ABPL

In a true celebration of diversity across communities, the third annual Asian Voice Charity Awards in London, organised by Britain’s oldest Asian diaspora publication Asian Voice and Europe’s first independent charity due diligence platform, Charity Clarity, saw winners from across Britain, Afghanistan, India, Tibet and an audience representing more than 40 countries at a glittering evening in Hilton Park Lane, on the eve of the Royal wedding.


he Asian Voice Charity Awards powered by Charity Clarity are about rewarding leser known charities that think big and solve the most pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally. First of its kind in the Asian circle, especially in Britain, the awards in their third year, reward charities that seek to innovate and strive for excellence. This year the Cleft Lip and Palate Association won Charity of the Year award for their work as the only UK-wide voluntary organisation specifically targeting those affected by cleft lip and palate, at a ceremony attended by some of the wealthiest philanthropists and key personalities in

Britain, including GP Hinduja, coChairman, Hinduja Group, Commissioner Ian Dyson, City Of London Police, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Tony Matharu, MD of Grange Hotels, Alderman Alison Gowman, Chairman, City Bridge Trust, Vijay Wason, Company Secretary, Edwardian Hotels London as well as leading politicians and celebrities. Road To Freedom won Startup Of The Year, for its work to provide refugees from war-town countries with immediate aid, working with NGOs and government agencies on the ground in some of the most difficult parts of the world. National Energy Action were the judges’ runaway winner for an exceptional countrywide campaign to save energy, a model that has been adopted in other countries too. Child to Child won the Social Impact Award,

G P HINDUJA: “WE LOST TOP POSITION IN THE SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST TO 'KEEP A LOW PROFILE'” Indian-born billionaire businessman and co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, Mr G P Hinduja told a room full of audience that, it was his family's decision to keep a 'low profile' which changed their 'status' in The Sunday Times Rich List. The London based Hinduja brothers lost their top position to chemicals entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe in the annual rich list of Britain's wealthiest released on last Sunday. At an exclusive interview on stage with the British born entrepreneur and tv personality Syed Ahmed at the annual Asian Voice Charity Awards, Mr Hinduja told some 400+ guests, “They wanted my photograph and an interview. But my children who have learnt to keep a low profile said, dad, we should not be there on any magazine or paper. Our parents have taught us one thing, when you are doing something for the society, or humanity, do it and forget it, don't publicise it.” Still remaining the UK's richest Asian man, GP shared his life story on the platform, talking about his journey to success, life's lessons, especially from his father, challenges and pride in his Indian roots and culture, but denounced the stereotypical definition of attributing success to materialistic achievements or gains. He said, “I do not define success with wealth or

for its 40 years of work promoting international child-rights. Male rape survivor and activist Alexander Morgan won the Most Inspiring Young Person prize, and police constable Steve Whitmore the Most Inspiring Individual prize. The Charity Clarity Award for Outstanding Impact went to Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day train journey, 800km for 400 young changemakers across India that happens each year. It has created some of India’s foremost social entrepreneurs and pioneers enterprise-led development that cuts across socio-economic boundaries in India. The Editor's Award for Community Service went to Sangat Advice Centre, based in Harrow and Wealdstone. It helps the local South Asian community with information about law to enforce their rights to welfare benefits, debt, immigration, discrimination, help prevent homelessness through advice and advocacy, help elderly, frail, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health difficulties and disabled people get access to statutory services. The Awards’s judging panel this year included Chair of the City Bridge Trust Alderman Alison Gowman, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Head of Philanthropy at the Charities Aid Foundation David Stead andformer chair of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Subhash Thakrar. Akash Parekh and Mithushan Sivagurunathar from band Tarang performed a Sitar recital on the

evening. Other performances included vocal by compere Sheila G and Lydia Unsudumi. A Bharatnatyam dance was performed by Santosh G Nair. The compere for the evening was Sheila G. CB Patel, Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice, said: “Charities around Britain carry out great work both nationally and internationally. We have witnessed these charities go unnoticed for their valuable efforts and we strongly believe in providing them a platform to recognise such individuals and to inspire others.” Pratik Dattani, from Charity Clarity, said: “The sustained excellence, in terms of the nominations, the rigorous judging process and the calibre of the attendees on the night shows that this is a key event in the diary each year for philanthropists and charities in Britain. It is wonderful to honour the commitment to excellence our Outstanding Impact winner Jagriti Yatra makes, by transforming lives around India.” The Asian Voice Charity Awards are not only about charities which seek to solve the most pressing social issues of our time both in Britain and globally, but also for those that seek to innovate and strive for excellence and whose success is judged by their end results. The Awards are for rewarding organisations for progress towards their dreams, regardless of whether they are small or big. So that our generation’s enduring legacy could be to reinvent the whole way humanity thinks about changing things for the better.



Asian Voice |

26th May 2018


Alderman Alison Gowman and Vijay Wason, Edwardian Hotels London presenting the Charity of Year to Cleft Lip and Palate Association

David Stead of Charities Aid and Pratik Dattani of Charity Clarity presenting Most Inspiring Young Person Award to Alexander Morgan

Tony Matharu of Global Hospitality Services and Naynesh Desai of DDO Solicitors presenting the Social Impact Award to Alexia Phillips and Trecia Young of Child to Child

Tharshini Pankaj of Regent Group and Dr Merul Patel, Asian Business Publications Limited presenting Outstanding PR Team Award to National Energy Action

GP Hinduja being interviewed by Syed Ahmed

power, nor do I define success with anything to do with the materialistic world.” Speaking about the importance of charity and philanthropy at this glittering evening in Hilton Park Lane on May 18th, he added, “Helping someone one time is charity. In reality we all should follow philanthropy and try to see how we can create institutions, how can we focus more on health and education. As our scriptures say, the only wealth you will take with you upon your death is education. “It will also be misleading to tell

you that charity brings success and it is wrong to expect something in return while doing philanthropic work.”

Judges Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Alderman Alison Gowman, Subhash Thakrar & David Stead

Subhash Thakrar and Pratik Dattani of Charity Clarity presenting Award for Outstanding Impact to Jagriti Yatra

Navin Shah AM and Commissioner Ian Dyson, City of London Police presenting Most Inspiring Individual Award to Steve Whitmore

Sheila G

Our Supporters and Partners

Lydia Unsudumi


Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, Vineet Johri & Devarshi photo

Bharatnatyam by Santosh G Nair

Akash Parekh and Mithushan Sivagurunathar from band Tarang

Rishi Patel, Currency Account and Lord Jitesh Gadhia presenting Start Up of the Year Award to Ahsan Ali Raed Khan of Road to Freedom

CB Patel, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Subhash Thakrar, Smita Patel presenting Editor’s Award for Community Service to Kanti Nagda Sangat Advice Centre



Small charities honoured for making big difference

Asian Voice |

26th May 2018


Rupanjana Dutta

C B Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice

David Stead, Director, Philanthropy and Development, CAF

Pratik Dattani, Charity Clarity

L George, CEO, ABPL

In a true celebration of diversity across communities, the third annual Asian Voice Charity Awards in London, organised by Britain’s oldest Asian diaspora publication Asian Voice and Europe’s first independent charity due diligence platform, Charity Clarity, saw winners from across Britain, Afghanistan, India, Tibet and an audience representing more than 40 countries at a glittering evening in Hilton Park Lane, on the eve of the Royal wedding.


he Asian Voice Charity Awards powered by Charity Clarity are about rewarding leser known charities that think big and solve the most pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally. First of its kind in the Asian circle, especially in Britain, the awards in their third year, reward charities that seek to innovate and strive for excellence. This year the Cleft Lip and Palate Association won Charity of the Year award for their work as the only UK-wide voluntary organisation specifically targeting those affected by cleft lip and palate, at a ceremony attended by some of the wealthiest philanthropists and key personalities in

Britain, including GP Hinduja, coChairman, Hinduja Group, Commissioner Ian Dyson, City Of London Police, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Tony Matharu, MD of Grange Hotels, Alderman Alison Gowman, Chairman, City Bridge Trust, Vijay Wason, Company Secretary, Edwardian Hotels London as well as leading politicians and celebrities. Road To Freedom won Startup Of The Year, for its work to provide refugees from war-town countries with immediate aid, working with NGOs and government agencies on the ground in some of the most difficult parts of the world. National Energy Action were the judges’ runaway winner for an exceptional countrywide campaign to save energy, a model that has been adopted in other countries too. Child to Child won the Social Impact Award,

G P HINDUJA: “WE LOST TOP POSITION IN THE SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST TO 'KEEP A LOW PROFILE'” Indian-born billionaire businessman and co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, Mr G P Hinduja told a room full of audience that, it was his family's decision to keep a 'low profile' which changed their 'status' in The Sunday Times Rich List. The London based Hinduja brothers lost their top position to chemicals entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe in the annual rich list of Britain's wealthiest released on last Sunday. At an exclusive interview on stage with the British born entrepreneur and tv personality Syed Ahmed at the annual Asian Voice Charity Awards, Mr Hinduja told some 400+ guests, “They wanted my photograph and an interview. But my children who have learnt to keep a low profile said, dad, we should not be there on any magazine or paper. Our parents have taught us one thing, when you are doing something for the society, or humanity, do it and forget it, don't publicise it.” Still remaining the UK's richest Asian man, GP shared his life story on the platform, talking about his journey to success, life's lessons, especially from his father, challenges and pride in his Indian roots and culture, but denounced the stereotypical definition of attributing success to materialistic achievements or gains. He said, “I do not define success with wealth or

for its 40 years of work promoting international child-rights. Male rape survivor and activist Alexander Morgan won the Most Inspiring Young Person prize, and police constable Steve Whitmore the Most Inspiring Individual prize. The Charity Clarity Award for Outstanding Impact went to Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day train journey, 800km for 400 young changemakers across India that happens each year. It has created some of India’s foremost social entrepreneurs and pioneers enterprise-led development that cuts across socio-economic boundaries in India. The Editor's Award for Community Service went to Sangat Advice Centre, based in Harrow and Wealdstone. It helps the local South Asian community with information about law to enforce their rights to welfare benefits, debt, immigration, discrimination, help prevent homelessness through advice and advocacy, help elderly, frail, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health difficulties and disabled people get access to statutory services. The Awards’s judging panel this year included Chair of the City Bridge Trust Alderman Alison Gowman, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Head of Philanthropy at the Charities Aid Foundation David Stead andformer chair of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Subhash Thakrar. Akash Parekh and Mithushan Sivagurunathar from band Tarang performed a Sitar recital on the

evening. Other performances included vocal by compere Sheila G and Lydia Unsudumi. A Bharatnatyam dance was performed by Santosh G Nair. The compere for the evening was Sheila G. CB Patel, Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice, said: “Charities around Britain carry out great work both nationally and internationally. We have witnessed these charities go unnoticed for their valuable efforts and we strongly believe in providing them a platform to recognise such individuals and to inspire others.” Pratik Dattani, from Charity Clarity, said: “The sustained excellence, in terms of the nominations, the rigorous judging process and the calibre of the attendees on the night shows that this is a key event in the diary each year for philanthropists and charities in Britain. It is wonderful to honour the commitment to excellence our Outstanding Impact winner Jagriti Yatra makes, by transforming lives around India.” The Asian Voice Charity Awards are not only about charities which seek to solve the most pressing social issues of our time both in Britain and globally, but also for those that seek to innovate and strive for excellence and whose success is judged by their end results. The Awards are for rewarding organisations for progress towards their dreams, regardless of whether they are small or big. So that our generation’s enduring legacy could be to reinvent the whole way humanity thinks about changing things for the better.



Asian Voice |

26th May 2018


Alderman Alison Gowman and Vijay Wason, Edwardian Hotels London presenting the Charity of Year to Cleft Lip and Palate Association

David Stead of Charities Aid and Pratik Dattani of Charity Clarity presenting Most Inspiring Young Person Award to Alexander Morgan

Tony Matharu of Global Hospitality Services and Naynesh Desai of DDO Solicitors presenting the Social Impact Award to Alexia Phillips and Trecia Young of Child to Child

Tharshini Pankaj of Regent Group and Dr Merul Patel, Asian Business Publications Limited presenting Outstanding PR Team Award to National Energy Action

GP Hinduja being interviewed by Syed Ahmed

power, nor do I define success with anything to do with the materialistic world.” Speaking about the importance of charity and philanthropy at this glittering evening in Hilton Park Lane on May 18th, he added, “Helping someone one time is charity. In reality we all should follow philanthropy and try to see how we can create institutions, how can we focus more on health and education. As our scriptures say, the only wealth you will take with you upon your death is education. “It will also be misleading to tell

you that charity brings success and it is wrong to expect something in return while doing philanthropic work.”

Judges Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Alderman Alison Gowman, Subhash Thakrar & David Stead

Subhash Thakrar and Pratik Dattani of Charity Clarity presenting Award for Outstanding Impact to Jagriti Yatra

Navin Shah AM and Commissioner Ian Dyson, City of London Police presenting Most Inspiring Individual Award to Steve Whitmore

Sheila G

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Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, Vineet Johri & Devarshi photo

Bharatnatyam by Santosh G Nair

Akash Parekh and Mithushan Sivagurunathar from band Tarang

Rishi Patel, Currency Account and Lord Jitesh Gadhia presenting Start Up of the Year Award to Ahsan Ali Raed Khan of Road to Freedom

CB Patel, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Subhash Thakrar, Smita Patel presenting Editor’s Award for Community Service to Kanti Nagda Sangat Advice Centre




Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

Jet to fly non-stop on Mumbai-Manchester route

Jet Airways is all set to begin a non-stop Mumbai-Manchester route from November 5 this year. The flight will operate four days a week, using Jet's 254 seater Airbus A-330. The airline made the announcement in a statement that read, “Manchester will become the 21st international addition to Jet network. With the introduction of this new flight- the carrier's fifth non-stop service to/from the UK, Jet will also become the largest carrier between Mumbai and the UK.” It added, “The launch of this new service will provide seamless connectivity to several domestic destinations to and from India which include Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhuj, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Nagpur, Rajkot, Raipur, Udaipur, via the airline's HUB, Mumbai. Similarly, quick connection to beyond points on Jet

Airways' international network such as Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dhaka, and Kathmandu, will now be available.” The airline currently has three daily, non-stop services between MumbaiLondon Heathrow, and a daily service between DelhiLondon Heathrow. “The launch of the new service comes one year after the airline launched 3 new international services last year on October 29 to Amsterdam, Paris, and London from Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai

respectively.” Jet's CEO Vinay Dube said, “We are extremely pleased to begin a new chapter in our decade-long relationship with the United Kingdom. The new service will bring Manchester into our global network, reinforcing our footprint as well as expanding the choice of connectivity to/from the United Kingdom for our guests with the 4 day/week nonstop service.” “With the new flight, Jet Airways will have over 8,000 seats on offer every week, making it increasingly convenient for both business as

well as leisure travellers, travelling between India and the UK, deepening commerce as well as tourism ties between the two countries.” EO Andrew Cowan said, “The new flight will enhance Jet Airways' cargo capacity by 15 tons from India to UK and most importantly, open a 2nd important destination in the UK to shippers and exporters and manufacturers from India. With this, Jet Airways' daily cargo capacity between Mumbai and Delhi to the UK will be 115 tons in each direction.”

previously headed Canada's central bank, steps down at the end of June 2019. Rajan added, “I think I've said all I can say. I'm not going to apply for a job anywhere, absolutely.” British Finance Minister Phillip Hammond is expected to name Carney's successor later this year, and said in Washington last month that he would consider candidates from abroad. Andrew Bailey, a former

BoE deputy governor, who now heads Britain's financial conduct authority, is seen as the frontrunner by many economists in London. Other names in the race include Agustin Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, Minouche Shafik, former BoE deputy governor who currently heads the London School of Economics, and Shriti Vadera, who chairs Santander UK.

average. The deal immediately prompted the Indian government to celebrate. With cases ranging from Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel and Power to Binani Cement and Jaypee Associates are being fought across judicial forums, the government expects the successful resolution of Bhushan Steel to speed up a decision in other cases too. Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar tweeted, “Fifty-three lenders, domestic and international, recover £3.52 billion under IBC- 76 per cent of the outstanding bad debt. The whole process completed in 270 days from admission in NCLT. Creditors to also get upside from a 12 per cent equity

stake now in strong hands.” Piyush Goyal, who is officiating as finance minister, said that compared to the liquidation value of £1.45 billion, the lenders had managed to realise a much higher value. “For the first time, such a large loan resolution has been achieved through upfront payment received by banks through sale of a company.” He added, “This is a record step towards resolving the legacy of unprecedented amount of bad bank loans inherited by this government.” Goyal credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley for the insolvency resolution plan. He added that lower NPAs will make loans more affordable, especially for MSMEs.

Won’t apply for Bank of England post: Rajan

Former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan has stated that he has no intention to apply for the job of Bank of England (BoE) governor, which will become vacant next year. “I have a very good job at the University of Chicago and I actually am an academic, not a professional central banker. I am very happy where I am,” Rajan told reporters after an event in London. Financial analysts have mentioned Rajan as a pos-

Raghuram Rajan

sible future BoE governor after Mark Carney, who

Tata Steel completes acquisition of financially-troubled Bhushan Steel

Tata Steel has announced the completion of its acquisition of Bhushan Steel, even as it continues to fight a legal battle with the financially-troubled company's original promoter. India's secondlargest private sector metal producer, it has paid £3.52 billion to the creditors of Bhushan Steel for a 73 per cent stake in the company, in what is seen as the conclusion of the first among a dozen high-profile cases that are being pushed for resolution under the new Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The statement came even as Bhushan Steel's erstwhile owner Neeraj Singal has challenged the deal at the appellate tribunal and has sought a

stay on the transfer of his 22 per cent stake in the company. The matter is up for hearing on May 21. The

completion of the acquisition puts the Singals out of the saddle from a company that had acquired the image of a perpetual loan defaulter that put up plants at a cost that was higher than the industry


Air India to phase out 3 Classic A320s

Disinvestment-bound flag carrier Air India will phase out its remaining three Classic A320 planes from the fleet by the end of this year. The airline had in April 2014 announced its plans to retire all 14 single-isle double-bogey wheel planes from its fleet in a phased manner after it decided to induct more fuel-efficient Airbus A320 neo planes into operations. Air India has already removed 11 classic A320 planes out of operations and the remaining three such planes will be going out of the fleet by December this year. Asenior airline official

said that though these planes are still flying, they are carrying out limited operations. “Most of the time these planes are on a stand-by mode and they perform one or two schedule flight in a day,” he said. The carrier had earlier planned to retire the planes by March this year. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) - one of Air India's pilots' bodies had in 2015 termed these aged planes as "lethal and snag-prone" and demanded their grounding from aviation regulator DGCA in order to ensure passengers' safety.

Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy in US

Cambridge Analytica, the UK company which was recently at the centre of an international privacy scandal, has revealed information about its financial condition for the first time after it and a related company, SCL USA, filed for bankruptcy in the US. Documents show that a web of companies related for the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, including its parent SCL Group, have filed for bankruptcy after they were involved in the Facebook controversy. Cambridge Analytica said it had assets worth between $100,000 and $500,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in New York. Documents revealed that other linked businesses, including SCL Analytics, SCL Commercial, SCL Social, and SCL Elections, have “a bankruptcy case or similar proceeding” filed at the High Court in London. As per a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, company assets are liquidated under the oversight of a trustee to pay back creditors. A source familiar with

the situation said some employees of Cambridge Analytica have been told they will not receive redundancy payments. The company revealed in a statement this month that it intended “to fully meet its obligations to its employees, including with respect to notice periods, severance terms, and redundancy entitlements.” It said it had committed no wrongdoing in its involvement in the Facebook data leak and had simply followed standard online advertising practices. Cambridge Analytica has now stated it ceased operations and started proceedings toward a bankruptcy filing, which are completed. It said, “Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the company's efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both, the political and commercial arenas.”



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


A client agreed a deal yesterday in a block in Maida Vale. This block in my opinion is underpriced for where and what it is. The location is Maida Vale W9. The price is a touch over £600 per sq. ft., which is exceptionally cheap. One of the reasons is that it has been popularly accepted as an ex council property from time immemorial by local agents, and, therefore, often perception and reality intermingle and perception becomes reality. Having transacted three in this very same block, we can for sure, on the authority of the lawyers, say this is not an ex council and never was an ex council property. Not that a label should have this much influence over the price of a property in the first place. The flat is within a secured gated

development, has large green areas and comes with its own allocated parking space as well as being share of freehold. It is managed extremely well, the reasons being is the manager lives in the block, therefore, you do not get the hands off impersonal management you see in most other blocks. This is probably the second best block I have seen in central London; no exaggeration. The property is a generous two bedder, consisting of a massive 844 sq. ft. This is large enough to put an ample three bedroom in this flat, perhaps something to ponder on for a later date. Following last week’s article, a question was posed by the purchaser regarding whether his son could live in the property at a later date if it could not be rented.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: My tenancy is coming to an end. Should I renew the agreement, or should allow my tenants to run onto a month by month tenancy? A: For most landlords this is an age-old question so let’s start at the beginning. Most Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) start off with an agreed fixed-term. 6 months is common, which is the minimum term for an AST before a landlord can apply for possession. AST fixed terms should not normally exceed 3 years as other legal considerations are involved. They can be

drawn up for any period for less than six months, but the landlord cannot gain possession until a minimum of six months has elapsed unless the tenant surrenders the property of their own free will. A periodic tenancy or monthly rolling agreement means that the terms of the original agreement still stand but it has no end date; it simply means that the agreement will keep on going until either party bring the tenancy to an end by giving notice.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY Advantages of Fixed

Maida Vale, London W9 Purchase Price: £510,000

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

Term Tenancies The fixed-term gives both parties some security as to the length of time the tenancy will last. You can rest safe in the knowledge that you will have rent payments being made for the whole fixed-term period and on the other hand your tenant can rest safe in the knowledge that s/he has a home for the full tenancy period. At the end of each period you can arrange to renew and increase the rent for a further locked in term. Most experienced landlords let their properties initially on a 6

Asian Voice |

There is only one way a property like this cannot be rented; that is if the landlord dictates an unreasonable amount of rent rather than accepting what the market says. Otherwise, there is no reason why a property properly priced, in the right area, should not rent within a week or two at the most. I advised him to use this property as a hedge and to rent elsewhere. The expected uplift on this property will more than cover the future rental expenses. The client will be requiring a mortgage. I spoke too soon when he asked me how much he would need to put down on the deal, I assumed it was 30%. The truth is the mortgage LTV’s have shifted, and when purchasing properties now the rental cover has increased to 145%, this month fixed-term, unless there are exceptional circumstances most would feel it is not wise to let for longer than this minimum period until the tenant has proved themselves. Only after this would the experienced landlord consider a longer term, say 12 months or more. Advantages of Periodic Tenancies When the initial fixedterm ends many landlords prefer to allow the tenancy to lapse into a statutory periodic one, rather than have the tenant sign up for another fixed-term. The last thing the landlord wants is to lose a good tenant, so leaving the

renders the LTV useless. The ceiling on how much one can borrow is governed by the amount of rent you can get from the property, and has little to do with the purchase price. Further research shows the amount required to be put down on this property will be more like 40%. A lot of analysis has gone into the research for this property, including previous sales figures and how much they have increased by. It is interesting to note the increases previous properties we have sourced have experienced. For example, two properties which we sourced for a client were purchased in 2010 and 2012. They were bought for £315,000 and £285,500 respectively. They have, on average, increased by tenant alone and allowing the tenancy to become periodic can often be the best strategy. This also benefits the tenant, as landlords with long term tenants often leave the rent at the original amount for extended periods, again in the belief that increasing the rent may result in a good tenant leaving them. Landlords often take the view that losing a little each month on a lower rent, not only encourages the good tenant to stay on longterm, it is far less of a loss than the expense and risk involved in finding a new unknown tenant.


26th May 2018

8% per annum. If you look at the increase on the cash invested, it comes to 31% per annum. The latter figure will drop slightly, as more cash will be required to put into the deal. However, the environment is very flat at the moment and, therefore, the entry price is relatively low. This Maida Vale deal, is a deal which is expected to mature very nicely and the perception of this block will also change over time. Do get in touch if you would like us to source you similar deals. The periodic tenancy allows a degree of flexibility on both sides: the tenant can leave with a nominal notice period of 1 month and likewise the landlord can take back the property with a nominal notice period of 2 months. It’s your choice. Whether you as a landlord always allow tenancies to lapse into periodic ones, or you like to renew the tenancy agreement for a further fixed term, perhaps with a rent increase, it is a matter of choice and good business judgement. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l A spectacular share of freehold flat l Comprising of a large reception room, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and fitted kitchen l Measuring approximately 850 sq. ft. l Designated private parking spot l Moments away from the green open spaces of Paddington Recreation Ground l Expected resale value is £650,000 Call us now for more information!

0207 993 0103 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, You didn’t pay for the Royal Wedding…you miserable miser. It wasn’t out of your pocket. It wasn’t a financial burden on you and it is not the reason you don’t have as much money as you want. Whilst we are at it, it’s not two people getting married so who cares. As the preacher put it in front of 500 million people, ‘two people fell in love, and we all showed up’. So who paid for this inter-racial display of love whilst some grumpy sods whinged about love, weddings and basically everything? Well for a start this country has the concept of private property. And the Royal family own a hell of a lot of it over the past 1000 years. No it’s not yours. It’s theres. Now the country and your taxes may have benefitted from Empire, so actually, my Indian ancestors mean your tax bill is lower, but not because the Royal Family owns wind farms and most a lot of England, and Wales and Scotland (not so much Northern Ireland). The Grant they receive from the Treasury comes from the Crown Estate’s payments to the Treasury! As the Crown Estate put it “We have delivered another year of market outperformance, enabling us to contribute a record £328.8 million to HM Treasury, outperforming our IPD bespoke benchmark, while the value of our property portfolio grew to a record £12.4 billion.” As for the police cost – well, I think the cost to you is about 1p. Yeah, you’re exactly the kind of person to whinge about 1p. Maybe they could have built a hospital instead. Actually, they are not allowed to be political, but they do build hospitals – when they give the Treasury money from the Crown Estate. Not enough hospitals – well – speak to the Treasury. Basically, they got here a lot before you did. Now you may disagree with private property and the concept of rent like Jeremy does. You may just not like Royalty and bowing (they don’t care if you bow or not). You may want a republic and a President – maybe Trump or Putin? No, we’d get good ones wouldn’t me, just look at our track record in elections – wasn’t Brexit an election. Maybe President McPresidenty Face if you ask the British public. Oh, whilst we are it, given the Queen heads up this business venture – let’s look at the gender pay gap – “The UK’s average gender pay gap is estimated to be around 18%. At The Crown Estate, our business-wide pay gap sits at -3%, meaning that on average, women are paid marginally more.” And as for the Crown Estate – “Since 1760, the net income of The Crown Estate has been surrendered to the Exchequer by the Monarch under successive Civil List Acts, passed at the beginning of each reign. The Crown Estate is though owned by the Monarch in right of the Crown. This means that the Queen owns it by virtue of holding the position of reigning Monarch, for as long as she is on the throne, as will her successor. “ So stop whinging, it’s a capitalist country believing in private property and they got here a lot earlier than you. If anything, whinge that you didn’t make it into the lucky sperm club – but that’s daddy issues you have not Royal Wedding ones. If anything – blame an immigrant, coming here and taking your property: “the estate as a whole essentially dates from 1066. After the Norman Conquest, all the land belonged to William "in right of The Crown" . For a free online trading course visit

Choksi, Allahabad Bank CEO charged over £708 mn LoUs Gitanjali group owner Mehul Choksi and Allahabad Bank CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was subsequently divested of all powers, along with 13 others have been charged for alleged cheating and corruption in the issuance of fraudulent letters of undertakings (LoUs) worth £708.08 million from Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the country's biggest banking scam case. Also accused by the CBI are Mehul Choksi's three companies, Gitanjai Gems Ltd, Gili India Ltd, and Nakshatra Brands Ltd. The chargesheet pertains to a second FIR related to alleged crimes of Choksi and his companies in the series of three such cases registered by the CBI in the over $2 billion scam case in which jeweller’s nephew Nirav Modi is also an accused, they said. The agency had

Mehul Choksi and Usha Ananthasubramanian

filed a chargesheet on May 14 in a related case against diamond merchant Modi pertaining to alleged swindling of £ 649.82 million using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai. The total figure of swindled funds by the two men now stands at £1.36 billion from PNB by using fraudulent LoUs, officials said. Choksi and his companies allegedly availed credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using the fraudulent LoUs and letters of credit issued Brady House branch in Mumbai which were not repaid bringing the liabil-

Abhishek Sachdev

I’m delighted to report that for the first time, thousands of SMEs who have suffered at the hands of RBS’ notorious Global Restructuring Group will now have the opportunity to receive a refund for consequential losses. The GRG has been exposed as having a vul-

ity on the state run bank, officials said. The chargesheet, filed in the Mumbai special court after a three-and-amonth-long probe, alleged that deputy manager in PNB, Gokulnath Shetty, arrested by the CBI, received £100,000 from the companies of Choksi to issue LoUs to his companies. This quid pro quo pertains specifically to alleged illicit payments made by Choksi's companies. Officials said the probe into the overall picture to establish the total amount allegedly received from companies of Modi and Choksi is still underway.

CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said, “Investigation revealed that, during the period from 2015 to 2017, the accused officials of the Punjab National Bank, in criminal conspiracy with the said managing director and others had fraudulently issued a large number of LoUs for obtaining Buyers' Credit and FLCs to overseas banks in favour of the said three companies without any sanctioned limit or cash margin and without making entries in the CBS system of the Bank.” Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was the MD and CEO of PNB during 2015-17, the bank's sitting executive directors--K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, and general manager (international operations) Nehal Ahad have also been chargesheeted for criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of prevention of corruption act. among others.

Fraud-hit PNB posts biggest Q4 loss Punjab National Bank reported record quarterly loss of £1.34 billion as the fraud by high-profile diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi prompted it to set aside more funds in addition to the pressure from non-performing assets (NPAs). The quarterly loss is more than the loss of £ 1.23 billion incurred by PNB during 2017-18 and beats the bank's own record quarterly loss of over £500 million during October-December 2017. Finances have been under pressure with lower income, while expenses shot up. Management of the country's second-largest public sector lender,

opted against quarterly press conference to announce results and made the disclosure to stock exchanges. Following a reprieve from the RBI, the bank made provisions of £717.8 million for Modi fraud during the March quarter, with an equal amount to be set aside during the first three quarters of the current financial year.

Another great victory for SMEs - but be careful!

turesque predilection for squeezing income (and assets) from SMEs, with many blaming the Group for destroying their livelihoods. What are consequential losses? Put simply, they are the ‘indirect’ losses caused by the Bank’s behaviour. Typically, our clients argue that they would have invested in their care homes, hotels or into commercial property development. Conversely, they would not have been forced to sell assets at firesale prices at the trough of the recession. Consequential losses are not straightforward to


argue and need strong evidence (specialist technical advice is required, including that of forensic accountants and solicitors) but we have seen some of the largest private property firms in the UK successfully argue for such losses. Sometimes, these consequential losses can in fact be multiple times the size of the ‘direct’ losses caused by the Bank. RBS has so far received 1,276 complaints against the GRG since the compensation scheme was introduced in 2016; fewer than one in five allegations of mistreatment have been upheld and the

total RBS paid out for direct losses amounts to a paltry £3.6m, with the bank drawing criticism from both the Treasury Select Committee and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking. Vedanta Hedging have long argued that most SMEs found themselves relegated to the GRG as a result of being mis-sold derivative hedging products - such as interest rate swaps and collars - which subsequently incurred very large losses, both direct and consequential. In fact, just last month I discussed this with Nicky

Although the blow from the estimated at £1.43 billion has been softened, the impact will be felt during the first nine months of 2018-19. Stress in the corporate sector in addition to new RBI norms pushed up the bank's gross NPAs to over 18 per cent of its advances at the end of March, from a little over 12 per cent a year ago. Morgan MP, the Treasury Select Committee chair, highlighting RBS’ damaging policy of resisting independent third party involvement in the consequential loss aspect of compensation claims typically the lion share of the total claim quantum! I am therefore particularly pleased to hear that RBS have just now changed their tune, with negotiations underway for Sir William Blackburne, a former High Court judge, to provide independent oversight of consequential loss claims, supplementing his existing responsibility for supervising direct losses. However, it is still essential for SMEs seek-

High provisions meant that PNB's capital adequacy ratio, especially tier-I capital, has come under pressure, requiring urgent capital infusion. With the government's hesitance to pump in money into state-owned banks, the Delhi-headquartered lender is banking on sale of non-core assets to shore up its capital base. PNB is also banking on a 4 per cent stake sale in life insurance company PNB Metlife, apart from divestment of a part of its stake in PNB Gilts. A bank executive said, “We will wait till the end of the current quarter and see if we need to raise fresh equity.” ing redress to take every care to properly substantiate their claim, particularly the consequential loss aspect, to mitigate the risk of having part or all of their loss quantum rejected, as was the case with many SMEs who did not seek independent advice during the FCA IRHP Review. Thus far, every single one of our clients has obtained some sort of redress before ever reaching the High Court do get in touch if you’d like to discuss.

Tel: 020 7183 2277



Asian Voice | 26th May 2018




Major crackdown on drug Sharif interview on 26/11: Pak ‘blocks’ distribution of English daily traffickers in Bangladesh WASHINGTON: Pakistani authorities have blocked the circulation of a leading English daily in many parts of the country, a media watchdog has alleged, days after the newspaper published ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's controversial remarks on the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The interview of Sharif, which reportedly displeased the Pakistan's military establishment, appeared in Dawn newspaper's May 12 issue and the blocking began on May 15, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said as it condemned the "latest attack on media freedom in Pakistan". According to RSF, distribution is being disrupted in most of Balochistan province, many cities in Sindh province and in all military cantonments. Sharif dropped a bombshell in an interview with Dawn newspaper last week when he said: "Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state

actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can't we complete the trial?" His comments triggered a massive controversy, drawing sharp criticism from all quarters. The National Security Committee (NSC) Pakistan's top civil-military body - also condemned his statement in a high-level meeting. The Press Council of Pakistan has notified Dawn's editor that the

newspaper breached the ethical code of practice by publishing content that "may bring into contempt Pakistan or its people or tends to undermine its sovereignty or integrity as an independent country". "The unwarranted blocking of the distribution of one of the main independent newspapers has yet again shown that the military are determined to maintain their grip on access to news and information in Pakistan," RSF said.

PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan areas to get more financial powers ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's top civil and military leaders have decided to give greater administrative and financial authority to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and GilgitBaltistan, the region through which the controversial $50 billion ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes. During a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) the top civil and military body - Sartaj Aziz, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan, briefed the Committee on the PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan reform proposals, an official statement said. The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reviewed these proposals and after detailed deliberations a consensus was reached on the "devolution of greater administrative authority and financial powers" to the PoK government and the Gilgit-Baltistan government, according to the statement. The details of administrative and financial reform have not been shared so far. However, there was also consensus over retention of the PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan Councils as advisory bodies; and the grant of a five-year tax holiday to GilgitBaltistan so as to create adequate incentives for the

development of the region and bring it at par with the other areas of Pakistan. Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. Balochistan, KhyberPakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh are four provinces of Pakistan. India has termed as "entirely unacceptable" any possible attempt by Pakistan to declare the

Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, as the fifth province. India has protested to China over the CPEC which goes through Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is believed that China's concerns about the unsettled status of GilgitBaltistan prompted Pakistan to change its status.



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"It is clear that the military high command does not want to allow a democratic debate in the months preceding a general election. "We call on the authorities to stop interfering in the dissemination of independent media and to restore distribution of Dawn throughout Pakistan," RSF added. Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had fired a broadside at Nawaz for statement about the Mumbai attack, with some going as far as demanding that the PML-N supremo be tried for high treason; that his name be placed on the Exit Control List, and a thorough investigation be undertaken to determine the reasons behind the statement made by threetime prime minister. Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants from Pakistan killed 166 people and wounded dozens in Mumbai in November 2008. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught. Kasab was executed after a court found him guilty and handed down the death sentence

DHAKA: Bangladesh police have shot dead 13 drug traffickers and arrested thousands in an aggressive campaign against the surging trade in methamphetamines and other narcotics, officers said. Four drug dealers were killed on Sunday, while the Rapid Action Battalion said its forces had killed nine others later. Around 2,300 suspected drug traffickers and users had been arrested, the battalion said, in raids since early May. An estimated US$2.5 million worth of drugs had been seized. Authorities last week warned traffickers to surrender or face the full force of the law. Police have vowed to stamp out drugs, most notably "yaba", a popular street pill made of caffeine and methamphetamine that is doing a roaring trade in Bangladesh. Authorities said that all the drug dealers were killed in in shootouts. "We have spoken to families of some victims. They said the victims were killed extrajudicially," said Nasiruddin Elan from local rights

group Odhikar. Authorities have been struggling to control a huge surge in yaba crossing its southeastern border from Myanmar, where the cheap pills are manufactured by the hundreds of millions. Officials say the bulk of the drugs entering Bangladesh last year were brought by Rohingya refugees. The drugs were being stashed on fishing boats bringing the persecuted civilians into Bangladesh. Some refugees were being used as mules, officials say. Authorities last year seized a record 40 million yaba pills but said an estimated 250-300 million others managed to enter the market. This year nine million yaba tablets were seized in less than three months as the refugee influx reached its peak. Nearly two million pills were discovered in a single haul. A director at the narcotics control department predicted that US$600 million worth of yaba could be sold on Bangladesh's streets this year.



Asian Voice | 26th May 2018




Kenya's Deputy President Ruto Seven killed as monsoon wreaks attacks Raila Odinga NAIROBI: Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto made a veiled attack on opposition leader Raila Odinga as the differences over the push for constitutional change escalated. The DP, in apparent reference to the ODM boss who has proposed changes in government structure, said Kenyans must be wary of "politicians who use the Constitution as a bogeyman." "Lazy and incompetent people do not want to work hard. Such people lose an election and try to blame it on the Constitution," he said at the third annual Legislative Summit held in Mombasa county. The DP and his allies have vehemently opposed calls for changing the supreme law to introduce a three-tier system of government saying the move is only 'Raila's plan to remain relevant after the 2017 poll loss." The two have not been reading from the same script, worse off after the Opposition chief entered

havoc in Sri Lanka

into a peace pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9. Ruto said he was not willing to discuss the referendum issue, which has put him in the cross-hairs with the ODM team, but noted that the changes must be peopledriven. "I don't want us to have the discussion here today. Even when we will discuss, the subject cannot be about the politicians but the people." Ruto said politicians must know that Kenya belongs to all the 47 mil-

Raila Odinga and William Ruto

lion citizens "who must be heard before the issue of the Constitution can be brought up. We have to be honest and sincere. This country does not belong any of us the politicians but the 47 million Kenyans," he said. Raila’s allies earlier launched a scathing attack on Ruto, branding him Kenya’s enemy number one in a vicious escalation of hostilities since the famous March 9 handshake. They claimed the DP’s grudge-bearing and

vindictive character, bad record in office and his tolerance to graft were the biggest impediments to his State House ambitions. Ruto had fired the first salvo, referring to Raila as a 'loser' who is plotting a referendum to create top executive political positions for his selfish interests.' The DP said the problem with Kenya is not the law, but “ambitious politicians with dictatorial tendencies who participate in elections but cannot accept the results”.

Mugabe summoned to Parliament HARARE: A Zimbabwe parliament committee has summoned former president Robert Mugabe to give evidence about diamond corruption alleged to have cost billions of dollars during his rule. Mugabe, who was ousted from office in November after a brief military takeover, has not commented on whether he will appear before the committee. Mugabe was asked to appear before the committee on 23 May. But it was not sure whether the former president would be present himself in the parliament. Mugabe, 94, who is in frail health, was also called to give evi-

Robert Mugabe

dence last month but the meeting was postponed. Lawmakers plan to question Mugabe over his 2016 claim that the country had lost $15 billion in revenue due to corruption and foreign exploitation in the diamond sec-

tor. No one in Mugabe’s office was available to confirm whether he would appear. The former president, whose own regime was accused of syphoning off diamond profits, has described his ousting as a coup. He has not been seen in public since November, though he hosted a private birthday party in February at “Blue Roof” — the lavish mansion where he and his wife Grace, 52, have been living in apparent seclusion in recent months. Mugabe was replaced by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, a veteran loyalist in the ruling ZANU-PF party

who was backed by senior military officers. Zimbabwe discovered alluvial diamonds in Chiadzwa, in the east of the country, over 10 years ago. Rights groups have accused security forces of using brutal methods to control the scattered deposits. The parliament committee, headed by independent MP Temba Mliswa, has already interviewed former ministers, police and intelligence chiefs on mining at Chiadzwa. Zimbabwe is due to hold elections in July or August, the first since Mugabe was unseated, with the ZanuPF widely predicted to retain power.

Zimbabwe begins process to rejoin Commonwealth

HARARE: Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth. The proposal came in a letter dated May 15 to the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland from Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to a press release issued by the organisation. Zimbabwe joined the Commonwealth on its independence in 1980 and withdrew from the organisation in 2003. To re-join, Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it

Emmerson Mnangagwa

complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth

Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression. The membership process requires an informal assessment to be undertaken by representatives of the SecretaryGeneral, followed by consultations with other Commonwealth countries. The Secretary-General was delighted to receive the letter. “I whole-heartedly echo the sentiments of Heads of Government who have said twice, in

2009 and subsequently in 2011, that they very much look forward to Zimbabwe’s return when the conditions are right. Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion, given our shared rich history,” she said. Zimbabwe has also invited the Commonwealth to sent observers its forthcoming elections in July.

COLOMBO: Heavy rains accompanied by lightning claimed at least seven lives and displaced more than 1,000 people in Sri Lanka, officials said. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said lighting killed six people and a landslide killed another in the island nation. The Disaster Management Centre said 1,024 people were moved to 20 safe locations. Hundreds of army men and police were deployed to carry out relief work and rescue operations as heavy rains caused flash floods in many parts of the country. Sri Lanka has been experiencing heavy rains since Sunday, prompting the government to issue landslide warnings for five districts. The meteorology department warned of thundershowers with strong winds over the next 24 hours and asked people to take precautions against lightning. Sri Lanka has suffered frequent natural calamities in recent years. More than 200 people were killed in mudslides and floods during monsoon rains last May. Two houses were damaged in a landslide in Marikkar Street in Kalutara district while another house was damaged in Beruwala. The 150-year-old tunnel which connects Kandy to Aniwatte has become vulnerable with the adverse weather conditions. The authorities have closed

the tunnel. The residents say they are inconvenienced by this move. The central province has received a rainfall of more than 100mm during the past days. Colombo has also experienced a rainfall of 100mm. Heavy rain, strong winds were predicted in both inland and sea areas in the coming days due to the South West monsoon which is said to be breaking in. Heavy showers which may exceed 150mm was predicted in the Sabaragamuwa province while showers of more than 100 mm were predicted elsewhere. President orders speedy relief Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the authorities to provide immediate relief to the people affected by the adverse weather conditions throughout the country. The President said funding should not be a problem in this endeavour and as such the authorities should find out the relief which should be given by the government and provide it without any delay. The President made this directive after reviewing the relief work in progress to assist affected people and seeking information from district and divisional secretaries. The President has also directed that help of the army and police should be sought to evacuate people affected by floods.

Lanka to address unemployment, says Wickremesinghe COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged both public and private sector to fill up vacancies so that the problem of unemployment in the country can be solved. Wickremesinghe said more jobs must be provided to the applicants which include the provision of provident funds for the employees, as reported by the Colombo Page. While attending a ceremony to present appoint-

ment letters to 4,511 management assistants who are newly recruited to Public Management Assistants Service, he said that the government should provide assistance to self-employment, agriculture and fishing industries. "If these tasks are done successfully, we will be able to develop the economy by creating jobs. For the first time after the war ended in 2009 we will create an era providing employment," the PM said.

WORLD AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

US Congress members urge DHS to retain Pakistan's Punjab govt releases funds to work authorisation for H-4 visa holders revamp temple

WA S H I N G TO N: One hundred and thirty members of the US Congress led by Pramila Jayapal and her colleague Mia Love sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging the agency to continue work authorisation for certain H-4 visa holders. “It's the right thing to do. And these rules have made our economy stronger,” said Jayapal, the first Indian American woman in the House. Jayapal and Love have been circulating the letter since April. “The opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work has made our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support to thousands of spouses - mostly women who have been staying in the United States for years,” wrote the members. “Many are on the path to permanent residency, and would already be permanent residents if not for the decades-long employment backlogs.”

Jan Schakowsky (left, at mike), Pramila Jayapal (center) and Rosa DeLauro (right) speak to a crowd of workers during the Women Workers Rising rally on March 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. (File Photo)

“Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of US employers and the economy, as well as H4 accompanying spouses and their families. We strongly urge you to reconsider this action. Providing work authorisation for accompanying spouses helps US employers recruit and retain highly qualified employees, putting US policy on par with other countries,”wrote the members. “H-1B workers and their families are most successful when their spouses have the ability to

contribute to their household income and our economy, and the freedom to use their skills and pursue their goals. It is an American value that everyone deserves to be able to use and enhance their skills, be financially selfsufficient, thrive mentally and physically, and pursue their dreams,” wrote the members of Congress. All the Indian American members of the House, including Reps. Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, Democrats from California, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois

signed the letter. Work authorisation for about 98,000 H-4 visa holders, whose spouses are on track for legal permanent residency in the US, was granted in 2015 by the Obama administration. New DHS data released earlier this month notes that the overwhelming majority of H-4 visa holders with work authorisation are immigrant women from India. Most have technical skills comparable to those of their H-1B spouse; about 59 per cent hold post-graduate degrees. More than five per cent have used the work authorisation program to found businesses employing US workers, according to a survey. The Trump administration has stated its opposition to the work authorisation program. The administration was expected to issue a new draft proposal in February but delayed its decision until June, to study the economic impact of terminating work authorisation, according to a statement from DHS.

Rawalpindi's Krishna Temple

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Punjab province government has released Rs 20 million to renovate a Krishna temple in Rawalpindi city and expand it to accommodate more Hindu worshippers on festivals and religious occasions, a report said. Mohammad Asif, the Evacuee Trust Property Board deputy administrator, said the government has released Rs 20 million to reconstruct the temple at the request of a member of provincial assembly. He said reconstruction work would begin soon.

“The main room where idols are kept will be sealed until reconstruction ends. Once reconstructed, the temple will be able to accommodate more people,” Asif was quoted as saying. Krishna temple is the only functioning Hindu temple in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Local Hindus have longdemanded that the temple area should be expanded. Jag Mohan Arora, a local, said the temple courtyard can accommodate only around 100 people at present.

China bans India-trained Buddhist monks Pak resumes 26/11 trial

B E I J I N G: A Chinese county has banned Tibetan Monks “wrongly educated” in India from teaching Buddhism, fearing that they may spread “separatist” content, according to a state-run media report. “Monks wrongly educated in India are banned from teaching Buddhism to residents of Litang county in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province,” state-run Global Times quoted an official as saying. The county conducts

patriotic education classes every year for those educated and awarded Gexe Lharampa - the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhist studies in India, an official from Litang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau said. Those who behaved improperly at the patriotic classes or showed “any signs of separatist intent” are strictly monitored and banned from teaching Buddhism to the public, the official said. The move was a standard practice every year “in response to

KAT H M A N D U: Nepal’s former Maoist rebels and the liberal Communist UML party merged to form the Himalayan republic’s biggest left party in a move likely to upset India but have China rejoicing. Officials said the two constituents of the ruling coalition had formed the Nepal Communist Party, which now heads the nation’s first majority government in 19 years. In last year’s general elections, the two parties had formed a rare electoral alliance, defeating the centrist pro-India Nepali Congress party. The two have now come together to form the Nepal Communist Party which is considered to be closer to

China and controls 174 seats in the 275 member parliament. Nepal, a natural buffer between China and India, had 10 government changes after the abolition of monarchy in 2008. Fickle coalitions retarded growth and slowed reconK P Sharma Oli and Prachanda struction after a devastating earthquake killed economic prosperity with 9,000 people in 2015. social justice,” Prachanda Nepal’s PM, K P Sharma said announcing the forOli, who is also the UML mation of the new party chief and Maoist supremo, before hundreds of cheerPrachanda, who led a ing supporters. Earlier, Oli decade-long armed conheld a joint meeting of the flict against state forces, unified party at the PM’s will co-chair the new official residence. At the group until political delemeeting, central members gates elect a new leader in of the Nepal Communist two years, party officials Party (NCP) took the oath said. of office and secrecy, fol“We are committed to lowing which Oli and

the county’s severe separatist situation”, he added. “As some monks received education overseas from the 14th Dalai Lama clique - whom China regards as separatists - it is necessary to tighten supervision so as to avoid the clique using local Buddhists to conduct separatist activities,” Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said. China accuses the

Dalai Lama and his associates secessionist activities in Tibet. “China has its own criteria to award Gexe Lharampa... Those awarded the degree overseas are not acknowledged by China and are not qualified to teach Buddhism in the country,” Zhu said. Some 105 monks in Tibet have been awarded the Chinese Buddhist version of the degree since 2004, staterun Xinhua news agency reported. The official did not say how many monks are banned.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court resumed hearing of the 2008 Mumbai attacks case and summoned the last two Pakistani prosecution witnesses to record their statements. The resumption of the 10-yearold case is significant in view of the public admission of former PM Nawaz Sharif that 26/11terror attacks were carried out by Pakistani terrorists and the civilmilitary leadership were responsible for the delay in the trial. The court directed

government officials to submit details regarding the availability of 27 Indian witnesses in the next hearing. “Despite repeated notices to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and ministries of interior and foreign affairs, it has not informed the court about the status of Indian witnesses since January 2016,” ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand said. “Now the case is in the final stages and only statements of two Pakistani officials have to be recorded.

Prachanda administered the oath of office and secrecy to each other. As per the terms of agreement of the unification of the two parties, Oli and Prachanda will lead the unified party and a ninemember secretariat, and enjoy equal power. It was also decided to transfer all the properties registered in the name of both the parties to the new party. After the meeting, top leaders went to the Election Commission to inform it about the unification of the two parties into a new party, the Nepal Communist Party. The new election symbol is a “sun”, which was the election symbol of the CPN-UML, according to a senior lead-

er of the CPN-Maoist Centre, Sunil Manandhar. Leading political analyst Bipin Adhikari said the coming together of the Maoists with an “ultra left” past and the UML’s moderate stance was a “remarkable political development” in a country where the communists had split dozens of times since their movement was launched 70 years ago. “The unification of two communist parties as a very strong nationalist bloc will define the future of democracy and political stability,” Adhikari said. “How sustainable this (unity) will be remains to be seen,” he said referring to months of tough haggling between Prachanda

and Oli for positions in the new party. Analysts said the unification would have regional implications as giants China and India jostle for influence with aid and investment in infrastructure like roads and hydroelectric power plants. “India has always remained concerned about the rise of Communist forces in Nepal. Now that a strong left party leads the government here, these concerns will only grow in future,” said Guna Raj Luintel, editor of the Nagarik daily. “On the other hand, China will be happy because the united party will be naturally closer to Beijing,” he said.

Nepal’s communists unite to form biggest left party


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


SC approves Centre's draft scheme on Cauvery board

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has approved the draft Cauvery management scheme framed by the Centre to ensure smooth distribution of Cauvery river water between four southern riparian states. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, and Justice DY Chandrachud issued the order and directed that the scheme be implemented before the monsoon. The amended draft scheme says, “In terms of water distributed to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the regulation committee of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) will collect daily release of water on a monthly basis

from the reservoirs as directed by the authority.” Karnataka, however, raised objections to the draft scheme as it said it was not in “consonance” with the SC judgement. The SC had asked the central government to modify its draft scheme for setting up the CMB that will be the sole authority for implementing the Cauvery Water

Tribunal Award. It also sought dropping of the clause which said that in case of a dispute, the matter would be decided by the Centre and it would be final and binding. The Centre was also asked to drop the clause that said that the Centre would give directions from time to time to the implementing authority- a clause objected to by

Tamil Nadu. Karnataka had just last week, made an unsuccessful bid to temporarily stall the finalisation of draft Cauvery management scheme. It then gave some suggestions, while maintaining that the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) had provided for minimum water to be allowed to remain in the reservoir on behalf of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain a steady flow, but the draft scheme does not deal with this aspect. Tamil Nadu government opposed the suggestion of Karnataka saying, “This was a clear attempt to seek review of the February 16 judgement.”

Nipah virus claims 10 lives in Kerala KOZHIKODE: A contagious fever caused by Nipah virus (NiV) has claimed at least 10 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala over the last fortnight. Six more people succumbed to the suspected virus on Sunday. On Monday morning, a nurse succumbed due to the virus taking the toll to 10. A high-level central team will visit the district soon and inspect areas where the disease has been reported. It is the first detection in Kerala of the Nipah virus which has a high fatality rate and spreads mainly through bats, pigs and

other animals. Its symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache and respiratory problems. Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary, department of health & family welfare, said that the virus was confirmed in

tests conducted at National Virology Institute, Pune, on samples of the three deceased from a family. "We will now treat all persons presenting similar symptoms as potential Nipah-infected cases as part of disease

surveillance," Sadanandan said. He said that the department has not been able to ascertain the extent of the spread of the disease as the virus has an incubation period of four to 18 days. Health workers have been asked to take the highest level of protection while handling patients. The health department has activated precautionary measures and issued an alert to the public. "As the primary host of Nipah virus is fruit bats, the disease control and containment strategy include asking people to desist from eating bat eaten fruits.


Sedition charges against KLF behind killings of two Shiv Honeypreet likely to be dropped Sena leaders in Punjab: NIA P A N C H K U L A (HARYANA): Sedition charges against Gurmeet Singh's close aide and “daughter” Honeypreet Insan, are likely to be dropped due to a lack of substantial evidence against her and other Dera Sacha Sauda followers. Followers of the self-professed godman went on a rampage on August 25, last year, after his conviction in a rape case. It is alleged that Honeypreet instigated all Dera followers for violence. She, along with fugitive Aditya Insan, are accused of holding a meeting of Dera functionaries before the court verdict. It is alleged that the plot to incite violence was hatched during the meeting. A court in Panchkula had dropped sedition charges against 53 Dera followers on February 19, this year. The charges were dropped as the police failed to submit incriminating evidence including CCTV footage. The 53 accused were booked under separate FIRs.

Honeypreet Insan

While the police claimed that they did their best to collect evidence, they said that some parts of the Dera headquarters were inaccessible even to the police. Panchkula Commissioner of Police AS Chawla said that Gurmeet's cave was impenetrable, hence, it was a tough task to go there and collect evidence. He also said that there may have been attempts to destroy the evidence even before the police conducted a search operation. Chawla said that Honeypreet and Dera spokesperson Aditya, who is still at large, played an important role to incite the violence, and that police investigation is currently on.

CHANDIGARH: Two chargesheets have been filed against 15 people in connection with the killings of Punjab Shiv Sena leaders Satpal Sharma and Durga Prasad Gupta by operatives of terror group Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), the NIA said. The charge sheets were filed in a special court in Mohali under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act, the National Investigation Agency said. Sharma and his son Kumar, who were followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, were killed on February 25 last year at ‘Naam Charcha Ghar.’ The NIA said that during investigation, it was found that the killings of Sharma, his son and Gupta were part of a transnational conspiracy hatched by the senior leadership of the KLF. “Eight incidents of killings or attempted killings were executed as part of this conspiracy between January 2016 and October

2017 in Punjab,” it said, adding a chargesheet was filed in this connection earlier this month. “The objective of the conspiracy was to destabilise the law and order situation in Punjab and to revive the fledgling terrorism in the state,” the agency said. The conspiracy had its footprints in several countries, including Pakistan, the UK, Australia, France, Italy and the UAE, the NIA said. “As part of the conspiracy, large funds were supplied through Italy, Australia and the UK to the perpetrators of the killings — Hardeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh. “These funds were used by them to purchase weapons for executing the killings and other logistics,” it said. The conspiracy included recruitment and training of Hardeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh in Italy, Dubai and the UAE, the agency said. The NIA said while Singh is a permanent resident of Italy, Ramandeep Singh belongs to Ludhiana.



TMC sweeps Bengal rural polls, BJP a surprise No 2

TMC supporters taking out a victory rally in South 24 Parganas

KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress has gained an unprecedented stranglehold on Bengal's three-tier village administrative system, as it gained 95 per cent of zilla parishad seats, 90 per cent of panchayat samiti seats, and 73 per cent of gram panchayat seats that went for polling and for which results were declared last week. Over a third of the seats didn't have any contest and the Calcutta High Court stayed announcement of those results in a directive earlier. Officials believe if and when those results are announced, Trinamool's victory percentage may improve as most of the “walkover winners”. However, in a clear indication of growing dissent against Mamata Banerjee's TMC, the BJP made significant inroads into villages across Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Jhargran, Purulia and parts of West

Midnapore and even Birbhum, which stood out for the large number of uncontested seats, where saffron party candidates won more than 20 per cent gram panchayats that went to vote. Banerjee meanwhile, dedicated her massive victory to the “people of Bengal and martyrs' families”. The opposition, however, called the 2018 panchayat election “a farce”. CPM and the Congress stood virtually decimated even in their strongholds, finishing the race as fringe players fighting for third and fourth places, which is a firming up of the trend seen in August 2017 civic polls. Trinamool successfully took down Congress in Murshidabad, and took a massive lead in Malda and North Dinajpur. It also maintained its stranglehold over the districts around Kolkata, North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.

Northeast gets its first solar powered railway station

G U WA H AT I: After almost a year of being fully functional, the solar power project of the Guwahati railway station is being considered as a worthy lesson in environmental consciousness. The project, which was launched in April 2017, meets the power needs of the entire station located in the heart of the city, considered to be the gateway into Northeast India. “A few months back we installed LED lights in the entire station which reduced power consumption by 100 kWh,”

says Pranav Jyoti Sharma of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR). In April 2017, a 700 KWp solar power plant was set up on the roof of the station. Between April 12, 2017 and May 10, 2018 the plant has generated 7,96,669 KWh of power while the average output daily is about 2,048 KWh. Rs 67,71,687 worth of electricity has been saved because of the plant. The system is a not a standalone one but is grid connected and that is especially helpful during rainy season.

AGARTALA: Flash floods caused by incessant rain triggered mudslips, killing six people, and displacing 3,000 families in Tripura in the past four days. Several localities in capital Agartala are waterlogged, while the water was flowing above the danger level in three rivers. Officials said the flood situation remained grim owing to torrential rains in the hills of north

Tripura that source all the major rivers of the State. The low-lying areas were the worst affected and people there were evacuated. At least 3,000 families were given shelter in 36 makeshift camps. District officials said the NDRF, fire service, civil defense and volunteers were jointly working to provide succour to the affected people.

Six killed in Tripura floods




Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Paika Mutiny of Odisha against the British • Politics on the first war of independence: 1721, 1817, 1846 or 1857! • Paiks and the tribals constitute 60 per cent of Odisha’s population The Indian Government as well as the Odisha state Government have agreed to reconsider the historical event which should be called the first war of Independence against the British: both have stressed on incorporating the Paika Bidroh (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 in present day Odisha as the first war of independence in the textbooks. Incidentally, both the political parties who were in coalition some years back in Odisha state i.e. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of the Chief Minister Naveen Patanaik and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who are set to contest the next Lok Sabha (LS) and Assembly elections in 2019 against

A sculpture depicting the Paika revolt at Odisha State Museum in Bhubaneswar.

India was celebrating 150 years of the first war of independence in 2007, the Shiromani Akali Dal, an ally of BJP, did claim in the Indian Parliament that the Anglo- Sikh war of 1846 be

Prime Minister Narendra Modi honouring a descendant of tribal warrior Rendo Majhi.

each other claiming credit to do justice to the historical event. Both are trying to woo the voters on the much charged emotional issue. CM Patnaik, the son of the Modern Architect of Odisha and former CM Biju Patnaik (March 1916- April 1997) established BJD in December 1997. He has been the Chief Minister of Odisha since March 2004. Till date India has been celebrating 1857 as the year of the first war of independence since the Hindu Mahasabha leader Barrister Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had written his most celebrated book, “The War of Independence 1857” in 1909. Of course, even when

considered the first war of independence. A section of historians in Kerala also disputed it by claiming Attingal Revolt of 1721 against the English East India Company be considered the first war of independence of India ! Claims and counter claims would continue to prop up, but we need to dig out “the truth hiding in half of writing history” as suggested by American writer Joss Whedon. “Nearly about 200 years back in 1817, the fire of freedom struggle was enkindled at Khurda. The rebellion broke out in March 1817 when nearly 400 Khandhas of Ghumusar in Ganjam marched towards Khurda protesting against the

British while the Paikas, Daleis and Dalbeheras of Khurda joined them immediately. The rebels under the leadership of military chief of King of Khurda Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra burnt many Government buildings forcing the officials to flee. A British Commander was killed during a fight at Gangapada. Khurda King Mukund Dev II joined the Paikas to revolt against the British rule and went to Pipli and Puri to capture these two places. As the rebellion was widespread, it was beyond the power of the British authorities to control it. So martial law was proclaimed in Khurda. Despite this, the rebellion spread like wildfire to Gop, Tiran, Kanika and Kujang but it was quelled down. Buxi Jagabandhu tried to stir up the insurrection in the Baleswar district as he was in touch with the Bhosle king of Nagpur but all proved abortive,” according to Samarendra Baliarsingh, an Oriya writer. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the function to honour the descendents of the Paika Revolt warriors. Even the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee was also invited to grace the bicentenary celebration of the revolt. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to consider the Paika Bidroh of 1817 as the first war of indepen-

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per cent of the population. The tribals, who constitute 22 per cent of the population, were also associated with the revolt. Paiks and the tribals constitute 60 per cent of odisha’s population.

The then President Pranab Mukerjee graced the bicentenary celebration of Paika Bidroh. He is flanked by CM Naveen Patnaik and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram and Mahesh Sharma

new revenue and territorial The BJP-led Modi govpolicies, the introduction of ernment allocated Rs. 200 the colonial currency syscrore in the Union budget tem that insisted on revenue for the bicentenary celebrapayment in silver currency tion of the event. In addiinstead of the hitherto tion, Union Human prevalent practice of cowrie, Resource Development along with the British policy Minister Prakash Javadekar on salt, spelt untold ecohas announced that the nomic hardship for the adirebellion would be included vasis, outcastes, disposin history books in 2018 as sessed peasantry and other the country’s first war of marginalised groups.” Independence, virtually The BJD and the BJP, replacing the 1857 sepoy currently Odisha’s top two mutiny. Not to be left political players, are playbehind, the BJD governing the Paika card to ment in the state the hilt, knowing Next Column: has started celthat it can swing ebrating the De-recognition of polls in their bicentenary Maharaja Pratap favour. The of the Paika Paiks, as the rebellion Singh Gaekwad members of the across the counPaika community are try by sanctioning popularly known, constitute Rs. 50 crore. The move, the a sizeable portion of the BJD and the BJP hope, would state’s 4.19 crore populahelp them fetch more votes tion. Most of the Paiks come in 2019 Assembly and LS under the other backward polls. classes (OBCs) and the (The writer is a socially and educationally Socio-political Historian. backward classes (SEBC) E-mail: that constitute around 40 )

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dence so that the people of India appreciate, in correct perspective, the events that led to the Indian freedom struggle and our historic independence from foreign rule. The Government of India as well as the Odisha Government take extra pain to popularize the Paika Bidroh. Paikas were essentially the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace. Rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and ruled as the deputy of Lord Jagannath on earth. They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha. The British, having established their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha, occupied it in 1803. “The Odisha government has claimed Paika vidroha (1817) as the country's first war of Independence. This claim has been made not only because it predates the Sepoy Mutiny by 40 years, but also for its territorial spread, nature of popular mobilisation that had transcended barriers of caste, class and creed, and its organisational aspect. A claim of this nature on the occasion of the bicentenary celebrations of the Paika vidroha has spurred the social imaginary of historians, social scientists and practitioners of cultural studies. The spirit of contestation, with which the present politics of remembering 1817 vs 1857 has been couched, also provokes critical consideration of certain interrelated aspects of anticolonial resistance in Odisha,” records Chandi Prasad Nanda, a Professor of History in Ravenshaw University, Cuttack. Describing the Paika Bidroh Nanda adds:

“Similarly, adivasis, peasants, outcastes, paikas, and malangis (salt manufacturers) were mobilised during the course of the movement. Apart from the dissatisfaction of the paikas with the

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Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


From Russia With Love Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back after a oneday informal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Sochi, Russia. Putin, in a special gesture, personally bid farewell to Modi at the airport. The Indian PM held his first informal summit with Putin and discussed a range of bilateral topics, including defence cooperation and global issues of common concern. During his visit, he also visited the Moya Russia-Ethno centre along with Putin, where he saw various ancient artefacts crafted by Russian artisans and held talks with local artists. He then addressed students at Sirius educational centre situated at Sochi in Russia, where he invited the students to visit India. Modi also enjoyed a yacht-ride in the Black sea of the Atlantic Ocean situated in Eastern Russia. Earlier, both world

leaders sat for a one-on-one talk, in which Modi reiterated the strong bilateral relations between two countries. He also termed the relation as a special privileged partnership. Speaking at the meeting that was aimed at underscoring close ties, Modi said, “Russia is India's old-time friend. We share long-standing historical ties, and Mr President is my personal friend and a friend of India. For the past four years, you and I stood side by side in the bilateral format and on the international stage... I am very glad that it was so.” Putin shared the sentiments, as he stressed on the important role the two countries play in maintaining global stability. Putin said, “Last year, our trade saw a significant increase, adding another 17 per cent since the beginning of this year.” The focus of talks between the two

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets PM Narendra Modi at the Black Sea resort of Sochi

leaders were major international issues. Chief of India's national security advisory board, PS Raghavan had said, “The main driver of this meeting is the geopolitical environment prevailing today. The primary purpose of Modi's Russia trip would be to discuss the evolving geopolitical situation and to

understand each other's perspective- to be able to see how we can both deal with situations in common interest.” Modi said the seeds of “strategic partnership” sown by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Putin have now grown into a “special privileged strategic

partnership” which is a “very big achievement” in itself. “I am grateful to President Putin who invited me for an informal meeting and hence, in the long friendship of ours, this is a new aspect that has been attached to our relationship,” Modi said. “You have added new aspect of informal summit in the bilateral relationship which I think is a great occasion and creates trust.” “And you were the first international leader I met as Chief Minister. Moscow and you yourself marked the beginning of my career,” Modi said in his opening remarks at the landmark summit. Both, Modi and Putin expressed their concern over terrorism and radicalisation, and their determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They also endorsed the importance of restoring peace and stability in

Afghanistan in an atmosphere free from the threat of terrorism, and agreed to work together towards achieving this objective. They held in depth discussions on major internation issues and agreed that both the countries have an important role to play in contribution to an open and equitable world order. In this regard, they recognised each other's respective roles as major powers with common responsibilities for maintaining global peace and stability. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as having said, “The Monday talks were very intense. I am confident that the ongoing informal contacts between the leaders of Russia and India will be useful and will help define the further guidelines for our development and strategic partnership.”

Kumaraswamy to take oath Rohingya Muslim refugees at as Karnataka Chief Minister risk of contracting leprosy After a week full of drama and well organised chaos, BJP failed to prove a majority and the Congress-JD(S)'s last minute coalition winning the state, Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy is all set to take the oath on Wednesday. Addressing the press, he said that modalities of government formation has been decided with the Congress during his meeting with the party president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Following his meeting with the Gandhis, Kumaraswamy said Congress Karnataka incharge KC Venugopal was travelling with him to the state “to discuss all matters and finalise everything” before his swearing-in. Over a dozen opposition leaders will be attending the ceremony, a show of strength by the opposition. Kumaraswamy's extended guest list includes five chief ministers and senior leaders from most key opposition parties. After the poll results threw up in a split verdict, BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP resigned barely 55 hours after being sworn in as a chief minister. With numbers remaining stagnant, 104 for the BJP and 117 for JD(S)-Congress-BSP and independents combined, the Supreme Court dramatically gave the BJP time to prove his majority. As Yeddyurappa failed to make things work in his favour, he was forced to resign before a floor test for the second time in his political career. This paved way for

Congress president Rahul Gandhi with H D Kumaraswamy

Kumaraswamy, who was initially scheduled to take the oath on Monday, however, deferred it to Wednesday instead as May 21 is the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. Kumaraswamy personally flew down to Delhi to invite the Gandhis and leaders of ally Congress in Karnataka. Also to be expected in attendance are Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar leader Lalu Yadavs' son Tejashwi Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, DMK chief MK Stalin, actorpolitician Kamal Haasan, and ally Dalit leader Mayawati. BJP leaders will not attend the swearing-in to be held at Bengaluru's Vidhan Soudha, and instead, will observe a protest day. Congress to get Deputy Chief Minister Congress' Karnataka president G Parameshwara is set to become the Deputy Chief Minister in the new state government. Congress

General Secretary KC Venugopal told the press, “Party President Rahul Gandhi has approved the name of Parameshwara for the Deputy Chief Minister post in the coalition government.” Parameshwara will take oath after Kumaraswamy. The 34 member ministry will have 22 cabinet ministers from the Congress and 12 from the JD(S). “Speaker of the Legislative Assembly will be from the Congress and Deputy Speaker will be from the JD(S),” Venugopal said. He added, “A joint coordination committee with members from both the parties will be set up in the next couple of days.” JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda revealed that contrary to popular belief, the decision to make an alliance with the Congress was his son Kumaraswamy's idea. “I had no say in it. He took the decision individually. You know how he has been canvassing throughout the state that he will not repeat the mistake of aligning with the BJP. We have all learnt from our mistakes which we won't commit again,” Gowda said. The former prime minister is currently revelling in his son's victory.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who escaped violence in Myanmar since last August, currently live in overcrowded camp under poor sanitation conditions. With health services on a down, it is now feared that their lives may become susceptible to Leprosy. The disease commonly thrives in areas with poor hygiene and overcrowded housing conditions, and to make matters worse, the overwhelmed healthcare system means people will remain untreated. Untreated leprosy often causes lifelong consequences and can lead to disabilities including blindness, paralysis, and amputations. While it can be cured with a combination of antibiotics, many refugees are unable to access the

vital treatment. UK-based specialist charity, Lepra is looking to set up an emergency programme to boost healthcare facilities within the refugee camps and host communities. Dr David Pahan, Director of Programmes at Lepra in Bangladesh, said, “Myanmar reported over 2600 cases of leprosy last year and the risk of the refugees carrying the disease is high. The situation is very

desperate. People are living in tiny, cramped huts with poor ventilation. Whole families are living together in just one room, which greatly increases the risk of leprosy transmission. When the rainy season approaches, it will make the situation much worse as the area will be vulnerable to landslides and it will be very difficult to move the people to safety.”

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Gujarat government, seeking a report from the chief secretary over reports of a Dalit ragpicker being fatally beaten by five people. The commission issued a statement saying, “The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media report that a 40 year old Dalit ragpicker was beaten to death at Shapar village in Rajkot district on 20 May, allegedly over the issue of collecting scraps in the area.” Victim Mukesh Vaniya and his wife Jayaben were picking through garbage

near Radadiya Industries in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) area, when they were allegedly beaten by five mean, including the owner of the factory. While Vaniya was beaten to death, his wife was roughed up. A video of the incident shows two men taking turns to beat Vaniya with a stick while another person holds him by a rope tied to his waist, has spread through social media. Police officials have arrested the accused based on the video. All of them have been booked under the SC/ST Prevention

Atrocities (POA) Act and sections of the IPC relating to murder, assaulting a woman and wrongful confinement. Gujarat Dalit leader and MLA Jignesh Mevani has taken up the case on social media. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “This is far more gruesome incident than Una. In Una, the victims were beaten up and humiliated. Whereas, here a man lost his life amidst caste violence.” The state government has announced compensation of Rs 8.5 Lakh to the Vaniya's family and assured that the guilty won't be spared.

Rohingya Muslim woman receives medical care from govt

Dalit ragpicker lynched in Rajkot



To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement any advice. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings and could put lives at risk

Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings and could put lives at risk. Patients have been advised to urgently stop using and return specific lots of AccuChek Aviva and AccuChek Performa test strips due to concerns they may give falsely high or low readings. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it is estimated that more than 260,000 packs have

been affected. It warned the test strips, commonly used by diabetics for blood glucose testing, may give increased strip error messages prior to dosing with blood and in some cases may give falsely high or low readings, which may be hard to detect.

People with type A blood may be more likely to suffer from travellers diarrhoea, or 'Delhi belly', as it has been dubbed, new research has discovered. Around four in ten people in Britain belong in this blood group and are more likely to suffer from the condition which is caused by the

food bug E.coli. E.coli can better attach itself to cells in the intestines of people with type A blood, meaning the body is less able to fend off the unpleasant infection. Researchers in the US found people with B or O type blood did not have the same problem, but were not protected from the bacteria.

'Delhi belly' could be worse for people with type A blood

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Asian Voice |

People who live in small, rural towns are happier than city-dwellers People who live in rural areas are happier than city dwellers, new research has found. The study surveyed 400,000 people across Canada using a widelyrecognized happiness scale. Cities have higher salaries, higher education levels and lower unemployment rates. However, that meant nothing in terms of joy: people who lived in the countryside were, on average, eight times happier

than people in urban areas, the study found. The researchers said the findings lay bare the undeniable importance of strong communities over social isolation. Scores of studies have shown, city-dwellers tend not to have as much regular contact with family or friends. And, as a study found this week, social isolation can literally change the brain, flooding the brain with a chemical that fuels fear and aggression.

Worrying affects vitamin D levels leaving bones brittle Anxiety may raise a woman's risk for weak, fragile bones, a new study suggests for the first time ever. As women pass menopause and age, they begin to lose bone density more rapidly, making the bones more breakable and leading to osteoporosis for some. The main reason more women develop osteoporosis so much more often than men do is the post-menopausal plunge of estrogen, which in turn decreases bone mass. This process is

inevitable and its extremity is mostly genetic, but a new Italian study found a link between women's anxiety levels and the strength of their bones. Anxiety disorders and osteoporosis both disproportionately affect women around the world, with 33 percent of women experiencing the former. But even if it is not treated as a medical condition, common levels of anxiety and stress can have measurable and detrimental effects on the body.


26th May 2018

Eating vegetables, fruit and fish may prevent brains from shrinking

Healthy diets may keep people sharp, new research suggests. People who eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish have brain volumes that are on average 2ml greater than those who indulge in sugary drinks. To put that into context, a brain volume reduction of 3.6ml is equivalent to one year of ageing. Having a healthy diet overall is critical, with no one food group helping to prevent cognitive decline, the research adds. The researchers stress, however, the participants' dietary habits were self reported and they were required to remember what they ate over the past month. They also add the study was

only conducted on people living in the Netherlands and may not therefore apply to other populations. The findings were published in the journal American Academy of Neurology.



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Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


Dhanush walks the red carpet at Cannes D

‘Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran’

'Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran' is a film based on the nuclear bomb test conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran in 1998. It features John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani. The film was slated for release on 8 December 2017, but the makers pushed the date to avoid clashing with 'Padmaavat.'

Rajinikanth’s 'Kaala' to be released on June 7

hanush has been rigorously promoting his flick ‘The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir’ at the Cannes Film Festival. Earlier, Dhanush walked the red carpet along with his director Ken Scott and posted the pictures on Twitter. He tweeted “Fakir’s next stop will be Paris. See you all soon.” The film is inspired by the novel 'The Extraordinary Journey of The Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,' which was released in 2014. Touted to be an adventure flick, Dhanush plays a character named Ajatashatru, who sets on a mission to find his missing father, that takes him to places like Paris, Spain, Rome and Libya. Directed by Ken Scott, the film stars Bérénice Bejo, Barkhad Abdi and Erin Moriarty in prominent roles. Distributed by Sony Pictures, the film is scheduled to be released on May 30. The film has been dubbed in Tamil as ‘Vazhkaiya Thedi Naanum Poren’. Meanwhile, Dhanush is expected to resume shooting for the gangster comedy ‘Maari 2’, a sequel to the 2014 Tamil film of the same name. The National Award-winning actor is awaiting the release of the highly anticipated ‘Vada Chennai’, directed by Vetri Maaran.

Aishwarya wraps shooting for 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'


ontrary to speculations that release of Rajinikanth’s 'Kaala' might get postponed, Dhanush’s production house has refuted the news and confirmed that the film would be released on June 7 as planned. Watch out for more exciting news in the coming days! The film is directed by Pa Ranjith and Rajinikanth plays an aged gangster named Kaala from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. Nana Patekar plays the antagonist. The star cast has Samuthirakani, Huma Qureshi, Sampath, Ravi Kale, Sayaji Shinde, Eswari Rao, Pankaj, Anjali Patil, Arvind Akash and Sukanya playing pivotal characters. 'Kaala' will simultaneously be released in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.


ctress Aishwarya Rajesh is part of the star cast in Mani Ratnam’s upcoming film ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’. As per the latest buzz, Aishwarya has completed shooting her portions for the film. Taking to Twitter, Aishwarya Rajesh wrote, "It's a wrap 4 me #CCV Watta an amazing experience working wit mani sir ... it's my dream come true ... Thank u so much sir." (sic) The film also stars Simbu, Vijay Sethupathi, Arun Vijay, Arvind Swami, Jyothika and Aditi Rao Hydari in lead roles. ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’ has music by AR Rahman and is expected to release later this year. Actors Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Mansoor Ali Khan and Thiyagarajan are also said to be part of the project. Ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan is cranking the camera, while Sreekar Prasad is editing the film. On the work front, Aishwarya is also part of Gautham Menon's 'Dhruva Natchathiram' with Chiyaan Vikram and director Vetrimaaran's 'Vada Chennai' with Dhanush.

Tamil actress says she received threatening calls

I will not learn to act: Vijay Antony


amil actress N Dhanya alias Rafia Banu has complained to the Chennai city police that she received threatening calls on May 14 and 16. Dhanya has acted in two movies about LTTE – “Porkalathil Oru Poo” and the upcoming “18-052009.” She did the lead role as Isaipriya in “Porkalathil Oru Poo,” which was banned in India. Dhanya, who stays in a rented house at Vadapalani, received a threatening call at 1.15am on May 14. The caller had used filthy language, she alleged in her complaint. The caller asked her how she could act nude in “18-05-2009,” she said. She received another such call at 5am on May 16. Following this, Dhanya approached the city police commissioner’s office and submitted a complaint to the cybercrime wing to trace the suspect.


usic composer turned actor Vijay Antony is currently gearing up for the release of his next film 'Kaali' with director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi. In a recent conversation, he talks about why he won't learn acting. He said, "I never learned acting, I won't learn it. I cannot act! Why I'm saying this is, if you watch Kamal Haasan sir's 'Aboorva Sagodharargal' and note his acting, you can't even call me an actor. Now we have so many facilities, but when there was nothing, Kamal sir still did a great job. I have a policy of my own, I cannot improve or act, but I have a personality of my own and I will fit into the character I play, and I will just try to be natural." There is a sneak peek of the first 7 minutes of Vijay Antony's 'Kaali.' The film also stars Vela Ramamurthy, Anjali, Sunainaa, Shilpa, Amritha, Yogi Babu, R.K.Suresh, Jayaprakash and Madhusudhanan. AsianVoiceNews


Mahira gets warmest hug from Aishwarya


akistani actress Mahira Khan had walked the red carpet at Cannes alongside Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and the two shared lovely pictures of their meet and greet. However, it was not just Sonam who bonded with the 'Raees' actress, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan too had a rendezvous with the lady. According to the reports, Mahira has revealed that she received the warmest hug ever from the Bachchan bahu who gave her a tight long hug. The two ladies reportedly talked about their kids. Mahira made her Bollywood debut in Shah Rukh Khan’s political drama ‘Raees.’ In a recent interview, the star opened up about her disappointment over the film not being released in Pakistan. However, wanting to focus on the brighter side, she opened up about her “magical” experience working with King Khan. Reminiscing her days on the sets, she said, “Shah Rukh Khan is magic really, honestly. He spoilt me for life. There’s nothing you can't talk to him about and we’ve had amazing conversations. It's so much fun to talk to someone who’s intelligent.”

Rajkummar and Shraddha set the dance floor on fire


ajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor recently wrapped up the shoot of their upcoming film 'Stree' and celebrated it with a bang. The 'Stree' team had a blast at the wrap-up party which saw the two lead actors set the dance floor on fire. A video of the two lead actors matching steps while dancing together like there is no tomorrow is going viral on the web. The enthusiasm with which Shraddha and Rajkummar grooved on Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif's dance number 'Tu Meri' from 'Bang Bang' at the party is worth an applause. Written by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, and produced by Dinesh Vijan, 'Stree' has been directed by Amar Kaushik and is a hillarious horror film.

Is Alia and Ranbir more than just friends?


Asian Voice | 26th May 2018


peculations are rife that Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor are more than just friends. When they arrived together at Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja’s wedding reception, more credence was added to the speculation. Bollywood’s ace designer, Manish Malhotra even predicted this couple will hook up in 2018. 'The Highway' actress is head over heels in love with her beau and Ranbir too, seems to be smitten by her. Of course these stars don’t believe in making any official announcement, so expecting them to accept their relationship in public would be foolish. You might as well read the subtle hints that they drop and deduce the final conclusion for yourself. While the reports of their affair have definitely intrigued us to watch them together in 'Brahmastra' next year, little did

anyone know about their first project together. Yes, way before Alia was signed by Ayan Mukerji for 'Brahmastra,' she had auditioned for another movie, which too, was being directed by Ayan. The movie in question is 'Wake up Sid' that was released in 2009. Alia had auditioned for Konkana’s role in the movie but the role eventually went to the senior actress. We don’t know the real reason behind the makers rejecting the talented actress.

Sridevi honoured at Cannes S

ridevi, the legendary actress, who died on February 24, received special recognition at the Cannes Film Festival recently. The actress had worked in as many as 300 films in multiple languages. Earlier this year, she was remembered at the Academy Awards and was recently honoured with the Best Actress award at the National Film Awards. Sridevi received a special salute at Titan Reginald F. Lewis Film Honours and a special visual footage was screened in her honour in the presence of filmmakers from across the world. Filmmaker Subhai Ghai collected the award on behalf of her family. Sridevi's husband Boney Kapoor reportedly said that Janhvi, Khushi and he were overwhelmed to see the recognition the actress has received for her work and that her work and life has touched many hearts across the world and she has been an inspiration to millions.

Special surprise for Sonam at Cannes S

onam Kapoor stunned everyone as she walked the red carpet at Cannes 2018. On the last day of her visit, Sonam received a special surprise from the cosmetic brand the actress endorses. The brand surprised the actress with a special cake cutting ceremony. Overwhelmed with this response Sonam took to her Instagram to post a story in which she is seen cutting a massive cake which was decorated with edible lipsticks. On the photo, Sonam tagged her husband Anand Ahuja and wrote: "this was for us". After Cannes, Sonam will soon begin with the promotions of her upcoming film ‘Veere Di Wedding’. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker, and Shikha Talsania and is slated to release on June 1, 2018. After this Sonam will begin shooting for ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ with dad Anil Kapoor. This will be the first time the father-daughter duo will be seen together on the big screen. Apart from this, she is also lined up with ‘The Zoya Factor’ with South actor Dulquer Salmaan. The film will reportedly go on floors by August and is slated to hit the screens in 2019.



Asian Voice | AsianVoiceNews

26th May 2018

Stanmore man holds Guinness World Record Duncan, consultant nephrologist, head nurse Claire Edwards and senior nurse Debbie Haynes, the evening recognised those who have been a part of Mahesh’s medical journey. Mahesh discovered his record just before Christmas 2017 after he and his family gathered evidence of his medical records throughout the years and sent them to the world record organisation. His Guinness World Record was on display with photo boards and memories over the years. Mahesh recounted his

A man who holds the world record for the longest time on dialysis celebrated his award with the people who have supported him through the years. Mahesh Mehta, 61, from Stanmore, was awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest time on kidney dialysis last year, now 43 years and counting. On May 11, an event was organised by staff at Northwick Park Hospital to mark his unique life experience. Led by Dr Neill

Coming Events

l The Nehru Centre events in May. All to be held at the Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London, W1K 1HF: -Down Memory Lane - Tribute to Hemant Kumar, on May 23, 6.30 pm onwards. -Women in Music Festival - Call of Love- Shephali Frost, on May 24, 6.30 pm onwards. -Hindustani Classical Vocal - Pandit Sujan Rane, on MAy 25, 6.30 pm onwards. l Presentation on Prostate Cancer by Dr Jyotiben Shah on June 14, 2018, 7 pm onwards, at Shree Jalaram Mandir, Greenford. l Shree Sanatan Mandir celebrated their anniversary on May 20, at the temple's Gandhi Hall. Community members voted for a new committee on the day, and elected Vibhutiben Acharya as the president and Ilaben Majithia as the vice-president, along with other members. Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha's head Param Pujya Mahant Swami was in Chennai last week, where he conducted his vicharan till May 21. He met with children, youths, men and women, during his satsangs and spread the message of unity and empathy. Mahant Swami reached Rajkot on May 21 where he gave Haribhakts the opportunity of meeting and interacting with him. A special sai sabha was organised in his presence, and several cultural programmes were also held. Manav Utkarsh Mahotsav was also organised in his presence.

Sneh Joshi

Harrow grandma celebrates 100th birthday

Five generations of women celebrated the 100th birthday of their great-greatgrandmother with a party and a letter from the Queen. Mrs Kamu Patel marked one-hundred years of life with a party at All Saints Church in Queensbury, on May 20. Kamu, from Harrow Weald, is the eldest of five generations of women, with family across the world. She was born in Kenya but has lived in Harrow nearly all her life. She has two sons and five daughters. On Sunday, Kamu was joined by relatives from Harrow, America, India and Africa for a black-andwhite themed event to “mark her youth”. Guests enjoyed a delicious range of food, music and a cake. There was also a specially made cake and Kamu was expecting a letter from the Queen to

mark her great age. Family members performed traditional Bollywood dance routines and gave speeches for the centenary celebration. A slide show of family memories was also shown. Kamu’s great granddaughter, Seema PatelRajpara, 38, said: “I feel honoured to be part of a family with such good genes. “I hope to live as long as her, we love and adore her for all she has done for us. She has seen so much

A bid by one of the masterminds behind a £7 million heist at Heathrow to cut his jail term has failed. The plot saw two security van drivers steal £7 million in cash from the British Airways cargo depot on March 14, 2017.

Rafaqat Hussain, 42, was "at the heart" of a plot which netted the gang 26 bags full of cash. The money was then spirited abroad in an "extraordinarily slick" operation and has never been recovered. Hussain, of Chadwick

Left to right: Kamu Patel, Manju Patel, Kamini Patel, Seema Patel, Kaavya Rajpara

now, making connections, and paying attention to your immediate environment. Socially you are very popular and your communications strengthen your connections. You will be busy with errands, paperwork, phone calls, and light socializing. Siblings, close relatives and friends may play an important role in your life during this period.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 The Sun continues to transit your solar second house. This is the most "financial" period of the year for you. You have an increased interest in your own possessions, during this period. This is a good time to plan your future investments carefully to maximise your profits. This is a time when "comfort zones" are more important to you than usual--you value the familiar. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The Sun transits your first house

and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and self-expression. This marks the peak of your physical solar cycle, and you are in the position to make an impression on others, and to assert your personal influence. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage of your charisma to achieve your goals. The Sun travels through your twelfth house now, marking a time of retreat and regeneration. This also heralds a time for research and unfinished behind-the-scene activities. Matters which have dragged on for a while should now be re-assessed and put to rest. Some of you will be looking to spiritual enlightenment and take up yoga and meditation.

in her lifetime and we are proud she has lived to see her great-great grandchildren.” Seema, who works for Harrow Council, said her fondest memory of her great grandmother was sharing a long conversation over many hours discussing life before her marriage. “I was getting married at the time and she was giving me handy tips and wise words about life and married life. She had tears in her eyes.”

Mastermind behind Heathrow cash heist has appeal for softer sentence thrown out

Public hearing over Hindu centre appeal in Maidenhead set for June

An appeal over whether a Hindu community centre can be built near Boulters Lock is due to be heard in public later this year. The Hindu Society of Maidenhead hopes to build the centre in land off Boulters car park in Lower Cookham Road. But in April 2017 the council refused permission for the plans, which feature space for both Hindu events and the wider community, with some park-

ing. Nearby residents opposed the plans, forming the Boulters Riverside Community Interest Company, and claimed the parking provided would be insufficient and a town centre location would be preferable. The council assessed the parking was insufficient and that the society had not proven reptiles would be unaffected by the development.

The Hindu Society has since appealed, and now a public hearing is due to take place in the Desborough Suite at Maidenhead Town Hall between early September and mid-October. Comments for and against the plans can be made by interested parties until Thursday, June 21. Visit and use reference 3191002 to search for the appeal.

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 You are exploring and searching

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

story with good humour, recalling the highs and lows and thanking those who had supported him, including his 82-year-old mother, Bhanumati Mehta, who cares for him full-time. Mahesh used the occasion to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation so future kidney patients have a greater chance of finding a match. Mahesh started using dialysis when his kidneys failed at 18. He had two failed kidney transplants, one in 1979 and one in 1990, and was on home dialysis before and after the operations at St Mary’s Hospital. During the event, Mahesh and his guests were treated to a specially written song by music therapist David Thorpe.


The Sun illuminates your sector of friends, social gatherings and group activities. You will be in constant demand and will be in a position to network with new-found friends who will promote your cause. Personal relationships are also to the fore and some of you might even find true love. This is a time to follow your dreams and ideals.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

More than any other time of the year, your focus is drawn to your career and standing in the society. This is the time when you are more interested in, and focused on, accomplishing something important. Contact with authority figures is more likely during this period. Recognition will come your way whether you ask for it or not, and the responsibility that goes with it.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

The Sun continues to transit your solar ninth house now. In this period you seek to expand your experiences and awareness, whether through philosophical thinking, travel, or simply activities that take you away from your mundane routines. It's an excellent period for looking at your life from a different perspective

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

The Sun energizes your sector of change, transformation and regeneration. On a more practical level, you may be dealing with joint finances and shared resources now more than usual. You should also make sure that your tax affairs are in order. You are more willing than usual to explore and delve deeper into life's secrets and arrive at meaningful conclusions.

Rafaqat Hussain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, to burgle and to commit money laundering (Image: Met Police)

Road, Slough, also plotted the burglary and trashing of an 88-year-old woman's £1 million home in a bid to lower its asking price so he could buy it. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracies to steal and launder money at Kingston Crown Court in October, and was jailed for 10 years and three months.

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As the Sun transits your seventh house, you have a greater need than usual to be in a relationship. The emphasis is on "us" rather than "me". Social interactions of a personal nature are highlighted. This is likely to be an extremely busy time for most of you. Use tact and diplomacy in your dealing, otherwise you are likely to come across as over confident and egotistical.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

The Sun transits your solar sixth house and highlights your health and also makes you take pride in your day to day work. Hence, you should enhance your skills, get organized and take up a health regime for your wellbeing. This transit highlights the need for efficiency and as such you should bring in the new and get rid of the old ideas that do not work.

After a period of relative inactivity, you are coming out of your shell, ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. This is a very progressive period of the year, when you are inspired emotionally. You take more pride in your your love affairs, your children, and your hobbies and are generally very sociable and make friends easily.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

With the Sun transiting your solar fourth house of family and home, these areas are highlighted during this period. Buying or selling of property or even renovating it will be uppermost in your mind as you will be trying to put your roots down permanently. It is also a time when family life will be charged with emotions so be diplomatic and respect other people's views.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20




Starting end of May, England will face India, Pakistan and Australia as part of the summer of international cricket tournaments. The schedule for 2018, which was confirmed by ECB last year, starts with two Tests against Pakistan (at Lord’s and Emerald Headingley). In August, following the IT20 and the ODIs with India in July, England vs India Tests will be held across the UK. June will also see India captain Virat Kohli representing Surrey in the English county cricket. Virat Kohli, who has signed a one month deal, invited praise from England


paceman Chris Woakes, who reportedly said earlier this month, that Kohli’s game “will raise the standard of English county cricket”. Isa Guha, the England cricketer who continues to break boundaries with a career in broadcasting and radio, told Asian Voice that this summer she is “really looking forward to having Pakistan and India over” as the “British Asian community’s enthusiasm is second to none”. Nasser Hussain OBE, the former England and Essex Cricket Captain, added that “one of the major highlights of the upcoming summer of cricket will be Kohli’s presence in the English

county cricket”. Such exchanges, as Hussain said, “will improve the standard of the domestic game in England and their (foreign players’) cricket game away from home”. So does that mean players from England should go and participate in the domestic cricket in countries of the Indian subcontinent, such as the Ranji Trophy, to improve their game? Isa Guha says, “Yes, definitely!” Asian Voice asked Isa and Nasser if some of the Asian teams have a greater advantage in comparison to the UK while playing in England due to the huge diaspora. Isa shared, “I grew up watching English cricket on TV, and I always knew I

wanted to play for England, but I see why South Asian communities want to support their heritage. The long-term goal is to foster more engagement between UK and its British Asian communities”. Hussain said, “Stadiums will be absolutely packed, and numerous tickets are bought by the South Asian community. I myself belong to the British Asian community and I know that in Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, cricket is a religion, it is everything that they want to do. Why is that? Because of Shahid Afridi and Virat Kohli? We are no one to tell people who their heroes are”.

Athletic Boxing Association (IABA). The group of 10-12 members will comprise of No. 1 and No. 2 boxers in each weight category,” a BFI official said.

“The women’s team will travel to Assisi in Italy. The training camp will be organised from May 19 to June 4 and leading boxers like Mary Kom and Sarita Devi will be part of the group. This camp is also important since India will be hosting the women’s World Championships in November. After these camps, both the men and women teams will travel to Russia and Kazakhstan,” the official added. It’s been learnt that Vikas Krishan, Manoj Kumar, Satish Kumar and Shiva Thapa will straightaway participate in Russia and Kazakhstan tournaments.

Indian boxers to train abroad for Asiad

Indian boxers will head to foreign locations to practice so that they will be better equipped when they compete at the Asian Games from August 18 to September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. The boxers will travel to Italy, Ireland, Russia and Kazakhstan for training and invitational tournaments. They will get to train with the best of sparring partners from local boxing academies at these camps. “The competition at the Asian Games will be tough. So the Boxing Federation of India has decided to provide them

with the best of training and competition exposure. The men will be visiting the Mayo County in Ireland for a training camp from May 20 to 27. The camp will be organised by the Irish

Korea edge out India in Asian final

India failed to defend its crown at the fifth women’s Asian Champions Trophy after it lost 0-1 to hosts South Korea in the summit clash at Donghae City (Korea). Solid in their defence, South Korea scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute when Youngsil Lee found the back of the net from a field effort. India’s defence was tested in the early stages as South Korea started the game well, winning possession in the midfield and putting pressure on the opposition. However, India defended their lines well and tried to surprise the Koreans on the counters. South Korea had better chances in the first period but the opening 15 minutes ended goalless as both the teams failed to find an opening. But the Koreans dominated the second quarter and won three penalty corners in a span of two minutes, but Indian goalkeeper Savita


Asian Voice | 26th May 2018

Cricketer Jadeja’s wife slapped by constable

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba was allegedly assaulted by a police constable following an altercation after her SUV came into contact with his bike near the police headquarters in Jamnagar on Monday. Police arrested the constable Sanjay Kurungi later on Monday. Jadeja has constructed a bungalow in Jamnagar and Rivaba had shifted to the new house recently. According to police, at around 7pm on Monday Rivaba was passing through Saru Section in Jamnagar in her car. At the time, the constable was exiting the police headquarters and his motorcycle scratched Rivaba’s luxury car while she was reversing. Sources said that after a heated argument, the


constable allegedly slapped Rivaba two to three times. Some passers-by came to her rescue. Shocked by the constable’s behaviour, Rivaba went to the Jamnagar police superintendent’s office to complain. Jamnagar superintendent of police Pradeep Sejul said, “We have arrested the constable. A departmental inquiry will be ordered against him.”

Bangladesh hire Kirsten to find new coach Bangladesh have appointed South African Gary Kirsten as a consultant to help find a coach before the tour of West Indies in July. Gary Kirsten who coached India to World Cup success, said he was helping rudderless Bangladesh to find a coach. Bangladesh have not had a coach since Sri Lankan Chandika Hathurusingha stepped down in October after a successful threeyear stint. Kirsten arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday and has already met players, BCB officials, selectors and local coaches. "I know Chandika did a great job with the team. I just want to understand what that was about and what made the team do well in that time," said Kirsten, 50. "Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have someone in place to take the team forward." Under Hathurusingha, Bangladesh reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015 and the Champions

Trophy semi-finals in England last year. Bangladesh also won one-day series against Pakistan, India and South Africa and defeated Sri Lanka, England and Australia in Tests. Kirsten, who represented South Africa in 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals before coaching the Proteas and India, said he could remain linked to Bangladesh "through to the World Cup" in England next year. Kirsten, who guided India to World Cup success in 2011, said: "I have no doubt that the team can compete at the highest level.

The BCCI has opposed the plea by former cricketer S Sreesanth seeking relaxation of the life time ban on him by the country's apex cricketing body so that he could play in county cricket in England. Opposing the plea with a "heavy heart", senior counsel Parag Tripathi told the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the apex cricketing body has appealed against the order discharging Sreesanth in the spot fixing case during IPL 2013. Tripathi told the court that an inquiry had found him in touch with the bookies through an

intermediary. Tripathi told the court that it was not just a question of law but also that of the BCCI code. Describing Sreesanth as an "outstanding cricketer," senior counsel Salman Khurshid urged the court to allow him to play cricket in England.

Gary Kirsten

BCCI opposes Sreesanth's plea for relaxing ban

made some good reflex saves to deny the hosts. The Koreans tasted success in the 24th minute when they caught the Indian defence on a counter-attack. Mi Hyun Park made a darting run on the right flank and passed the ball across the Indian goal, which was deflected into the back of the net by Lee to give her team

the lead. India struggled to build momentum after going behind as the hosts took their one-goal lead into the half-time break. Trailing, the onus was on India to find the equaliser. But South Korea didn’t let the Indian attackers find space inside their striking circle. The hosts sat back in their own half for the rest of

the match, and looked to hit India on the counters. Indian striker Vandana Katariya was declared the player of the tournament while youngster Lalremsiami was named as the upcoming player. Navneet Kaur and Vandana finished as joint top-scorer in the tournament along with China’s Xiaoming Song.

S Sreesanth

Sport 32

Asian Voice | 26th May 2018




Chennai Super Kings reached their seventh Indian Premier League final on Tuesday by beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in a lowscoring thriller at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Faf du Plessis (67 not out) helped CSK reach the target and face the winners of the Eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier 2 for the second shot on the final on Friday. Du Plessis completed the run chase with a six as CSK chased down the 140run target in 19.1 overs. The South African remained unbeaten on 67 off 42 balls, which included four sixes and five fours, and added unconquered 27 runs off 8 balls with Shardul Thakur (15 off 5 balls). Defending a modest total, Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave Sunrisers an early breakthrough by removing Shane Watson (0) in the first over. Suresh Raina though came out all guns blazing as he smacked three consecutive fours off Sandeep Sharma's first three balls in the second over. But the introduction of Siddarth Kaul in the fourth over changed the scenario upside down as the pacer clean bowled Raina and in-form Ambati Rayudu (0) in consecutive balls to reduce CSK to 24/3 in 3.4 overs. Raina scored 22 off 13 balls with the help of four boundaries. The situation worsen for CSK when they lost skipper MS Dhoni (9), who missed a Rashid Khan delivery in the 8th over with just 39 runs on the board. CSK reached 50/4 at the halfway mark and needed 90 more off final 10 overs. Rashid then removed Dwayne Bravo (7) in the 12th over, before Sandeep dismissed Ravindra Jadeja in the next over to leave CSK at 62/6 in 12.3 overs. Du Plessis though kept CSK in the hunt from the other end as he stitched a valuable 30-run stand in 2.3 overs with Deepak Chahar (10) to take the score to 92/7 in 15 overs. Carlos Brathwaite took a brilliant catch to dismiss Chahar as CSK needed 48 off 30 balls. Du Plessis then completed his 50 off 37 balls with the help of three sixes and three fours, while clobbering 20 off

Brathwaite in the 18th over and changed the equation to 23 off 12 balls. Shardul then scored three fours off Siddarth Kaul as 17 came from the penultimate over to make the equation a comfortable six off final over, which du Plessis did in just one ball. Earlier, CSK bowling attack utilised lively pitch to the fullest as they restricted Sunrisers to a modest 139/7. Carlos Brathwaite (43* off 29 balls), skipper Kane Willamson (24) and Yusuf Pathan (24) were the useful contributors for Sunrisers on a track that offered good bounce. CSK pegged back Sunrisers at 47/3 after six Powerplay overs with both Williamson and opener Shikhar Dhawan (0) back in the dugout. Dhawan was played on off Deepak Chahar in the very first delivery of the match. Williamson, in red-hot form in the season, then produced three hits to the fence off the last three balls in the same over. From the other end, Lungi Ngidi packed off the other opener Shreevats Goswami (12) by

England recall Buttler for first Test against Pakistan England selectors gave a surprise recall to explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler to the Test squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Lords, starting on May 24. Buttler, who is currently playing for Rajasthan Royals at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), is expected to play as a specialist batsman at number seven. He has not played Test cricket since England's Test against India in Chennai in December 2016. Also in the squad is Mark Wood, who left the IPL early in order to push his claim for a place in England's Test side. England's new national selector Ed Smith has also called up uncapped off-spinner Dom Bess following an injury to his Somerset spin

Jos Buttler

twin Jack Leach, who played in the side's previous Test against New Zealand. Meanwhile James Vince has been dropped from the squad despite a double hundred for Hampshire, while opener Mark Stoneman

retained his place. Commenting on the squad, Smith said: "Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white ball teams." "The selection panel feels that this is the perfect moment to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket, where he has already enjoyed some success, including a stint playing as a specialist batsman at number seven. Jos is playing with great confidence and flair, and he will bring unique qualities to the Test team," he added. Squad: Joe Root (Captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

board. Then Bravo pulled off a stunner, accepting a smart return catch, when the pouching on to a low full-blooded drive batsman tried to pull. At 34/2, Sunrisers from Pathan. A late flurry from West were in trouble and it worsened when Indian Brathwaite, who slammed Thakur they lost their skipper Williamson in the for four huge sixes and a four in death next over. The New Zealand captain overs, boosted the total significantly. feathered a catch down leg-side ball off Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings Shardul Thakur to rival captain Dhoni to 140/8 in 19.1 overs (Faf du Plessis 67*; leave Hyderabad reeling at 36/3 in 4.2 Rashid Khan 2/11) beat Sunrisers overs. Hyderabad 139/7 (Carlos Brathwaite 43*; CSK, attempting to make it to their Dwayne Bravo 2/25) by two wickets. seventh final in nine seasons that they have been part of IPL, struck another blow just past the IPL, 2018 - Points Table Powerplay period. Shakib Al Mat Won Lost Tied Pts NRR Hasan (12) also fell to a leg- Teams 15 10 5 0 20 0.253 side catch by Dhoni off Chennai Super Kings 15 9 6 0 18 0.284 Dwayne Bravo (2/25) and it Sunrisers Hyderabad left Sunrisers at 50/4. After Kolkata Knight Riders 14 8 6 0 16 0.070 10 overs, the score was a Rajasthan Royals 14 7 7 0 14 0.250 modest 64/4. Ravindra Jadeja Mumbai Indians 14 6 8 0 12 0.317 (1/13) sent back Manish Royal Challengers Bangalore14 6 8 0 12 0.129 Pandey cheaply as half the 14 6 8 0 12 0.502 Sunrisers was back in the Kings XI Punjab 14 5 9 0 10 0.222 pavilion with only 69 on the Delhi Daredevils

Harmanpreet, Mandhana named captains for Women's T20 Challenge

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will lead the two teams that will play the Women's T20 Challenge game, the BCCI said. The match, featuring a host of Indian and overseas women cricketers, will be played ahead of the Qualifier 1 match of IPL 2018 on May 22, at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The rules are likely to be based on the guidelines for the IPL, including a maximum allowance of four overseas cricketers in the eleven. Rajeev Shukla, chairman of the IPL, confirmed that New Zealand's Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine, Australian cricketers Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney, and Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell from England, will be part of the

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur

exhibition game. "Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers. We were in talks with several Boards and I am pleased with the outcome. This special game will be played at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium and will be telecast live in

India and across the world," Shukla said. "We are excited to announce the first-of-itskind exhibition match involving our women cricketers. BCCI has been pulling out all stops to promote and nurture women's cricket and this is a small yet significant step,’’ said Diana Edulji, former India captain and member of the Committee of Administrators.

AV 26th May 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 4)

AV 26th May 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 4)